Today Push Pop Press, the e-publishing firm who produced an interactive version of an Al Gore climatology book, announced today that it has been acquired by Facebook. Facebook has no interest in publishing interactive e-books, and Push Pop has announced it will no longer be publishing anything. Instead, Facebook will be incorporating Push Pop’s technology into its own platform.
So instead of an independent born-digital press, publishing next-generation multimedia novels (or magazines or textbooks or children’s books or cookbooks), Facebook will probably get marginally better iOS apps.
Carmody suggests that this is a bad thing and will reduce the amount of innovation available in interactive e-book publishing. And I can see that. But on the other hand, it’s not as if Push Pop was the only fish in the sea. There are plenty of innovative digital publishing platforms out there, and the removal of one from the market doesn’t mean the others won’t continue to innovate.
And who knows, if there aren’t any more Push Pop interactive e-books, perhaps Facebook will take on some more interactive e-book-like qualities itself. Regardless, this isn’t going to end all of e-bookdom, and hopefully the talent behind Push Pop will make its creativity felt in other ways.