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Facebook buys iPad book maker Push Pop Press [Updated]

August 2, 2011 |  4:15 pm

Al Gore's Our Choice by Push Pop Press for the iPad

Facebook still hasn't released an iPad app of its own, but it now owns an iPad app maker -- Push Pop Press.

The start-up is known for being the company that built Al Gore's Our Choice app for the Apple tablet and the iPhone as well.

Our Choice "surveys the causes of global warming and presents groundbreaking insights and solutions already under study and underway that can help stop the unfolding disaster of global warming," Push Pop says on its listing for the app on iTunes. "Al Gore's Our Choice will change the way we read books," the company proclaims in the listing.

But it seems that may no longer be the case. Despite buying Push Pop, Facebook isn't planning to get into the iPad book business, said Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, the company's two co-founders.

"We're taking our publishing technology and everything we've learned and are setting off to help design the world's largest book, Facebook," Matas and Tsinteris said in a statement on Push Pop's website.

"Although Facebook isn't planning to start publishing digital books, the ideas and technology behind Push Pop Press will be integrated with Facebook, giving people even richer ways to share their stories."

Al Gore's Our Choice will remain available for purchase, but Push Pop is discontinuing its work on building more iPad books and it's suspending production of an iPad book publishing platform which made its way into a private beta testing mode.

"We've decided that our future profits from the book will be donated to the Climate Reality Project," the co-founders said. Gore's split of the profits have gone, and will continue to go to, the same nonprofit group, which Gore founded.

[Updated 4:16 p.m.: A Facebook spokeswoman emailed along this statement on the Push Pop Press deal:

"We're thrilled to confirm that we've acquired Push Pop Press, a startup whose groundbreaking software changes the way people publish and consume digital content. We can't wait for co-founders Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris to get started, and for some of the technology, ideas and inspiration behind Push Pop Press to become part of how millions of people connect and share with each other on Facebook."

Not a lot of new information there.

Financial details on the Push Pop takeover weren't disclosed, but the spokeswoman did confirm that just the co-founders, Matas and Tsinteris are headed to Facebook in the deal. Employment of the start-up's two other employees, software engineer Austin Sarner and infographic designer Bret Victor, was not included in the purchase.

Matas previously worked at Apple for 10 years working on user interfaces and design that went into the iPad, iPhone and Mac OS X. He also co-founded Delicious Monster, a software company that built a digital book cataloging app called Delicious Library.

Tsinteris too worked at Apple, working on iPad and iPhone mapping apps. Previous to that, he was an employee of Microsoft.]

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: A demo of Push Pop Press' Our Choice book app for the Apple iPad. Credit: Push Pop Press / Facebook

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