Facebook as a Book Publisher?

A few posts back, I mentioned a guy named Mike Matas and his new company called Push Pop Press. A former Apple employee, he and his team are developing some fairly snazzy interactive books for the iPad and iPhone. They’ve been getting a lot of attention, and it seems it has served them well.

I found a link to this New York Times article while browsing Irish Publishing News, which reports that Push Pop Press have been bought by Facebook. So does the networking giant want to get into publishing?

Given the massive quantity and range of information they have to mine regarding the tastes and interest of their millions of members, they have a huge advantage over the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google. Talk about being able to target your advertising.

Facebook have already branched into online gaming, and are exploring the possibility of streaming films too, in partnership with Warner Brothers, so selling books online wouldn’t be too much of a departure at all. But then, in some ways, Push Pop Press’s books are almost more of a game or a film than a book. Once it’s online, why would anyone restrict themselves to just text?

Which begs the question of the publishing industry: What is a book? Where does that definition end? I think we’re still in the process of finding out.