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Facebook Acquires Push Pop Press

No doubt preparing its tablet-based future, Facebook just acquired e-book publisher and 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," notes The Los Angeles Times.

"Red alert for publishers," writes the Guardian. "No-one is suggesting that Facebook is about to start publishing ebooks, but with expertise like Push Pop Press coming on board, significant foundations for public-facing journalists' pages described as 'a social newspaper' already established, and a vast global audience... publishers shouldn't take this one lying down."

For its part, Push Pop Press insists that Facebook isn't getting into the iPad book business. "We're taking our publishing technology and everything we've learned and are setting off to help design the world's largest book, Facebook," Push Pop Press co-founders Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris stated.

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"But there is reason for some skepticism," suggests The New York Times. "Facebook has made it apparent over the last few years that it is not just a social network, but an entertainment distributor, too."

Moreover, "Facebook's move into other forms of entertainment, like gaming and movies, demonstrates that the company is looking at other forms of revenue beyond standard advertising," The Times adds. "Of course, it doesn't need to own a book company to distribute books. It doesn't own a movie studio or a game maker."

"The reason for that theme is clear," agrees eWeek. "Increased user engagement, which leads to greater ad revenues. Movies are longer than shared video clips, and some people spend hours playing games in Facebook.

"This boosts the ad-serving opportunities for Facebook, which means more sales for the company," eWeek adds. "More ad sales will increase competition versus Google, Microsoft and others, not so much Apple or Amazon, which don't rely heavily on advertising."

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