Facebook’s Design Vacuum

August 2nd, 2011

Facebook has acquired Push Pop Press, the tablet-oriented publishing company that was co-founded by one of the Mac community’s most successful young designers: Mike Matas.

I learned about the news via Lessien on Twitter, a woman about whom I know little, except that she offers reliably intelligent opinion about the tech world, and the mobile industry in particular. She shared the news with some curiosity about Facebook’s role in the deal:

Wow, although I’m a bit surprised by the buyer. Congrats to the @pushpoppress team.

It does seem a little unusual for Facebook to acquire a publishing company. But Facebook has made at least one similar acquisition recently: Sofa, the Dutch Mac developer and design firm. What interest did Facebook have in a company that sells Mac-only point of sale and developer software tools? They didn’t.

Facebook bought Sofa for their world-class design team. I expect the situation is similar when it comes to Push Pop Press. I can imagine Facebook putting Push Pop’s publishing software to some good use, but that’s just the icing on the Mike Matas cake.

Who will Facebook acquire next? Don’t let product scope cloud your crystal ball. Look for the most consistently polished user experiences in the software you use in any industry, on any platform. If it’s on Facebook’s radar, don’t be surprised to see them acquired next.

This speaks well to Facebook’s product priorities, especially as they are increasingly framed as a competitor to Google, whose design is famously underwhelming. For Facebook, setting themselves apart as purveyors of finely crafted interfaces will become a huge competitive advantage.

5 Responses to “Facebook’s Design Vacuum”

  1. DDA Says:

    Facebook has been advertising on The Deck for designers so they are clearly interested in acquiring some design talent.

  2. Twist Says:

    PANIC!!!!!!!!

    Panic Inc that is. I doubt they would sale but if you want a team with some great designers on it there you go.

  3. Martin Says:

    Good choice, Mr. Zuckerberg. Mike Matas is such a talented guy.

  4. haineux Says:

    I only hope they don’t bureaucratize these designers into oblivion. Won’t be the first company to do similar (cough, Microsoft).

    And yes, I would love if Facebook got a redesign. Keep the blue, get rid of everything else. Please. Oh please.

  5. charles Says:

    What’s interesting too is that Facebook seems to have a developer-centric structure and culture, where developers make a lot of the decision and… well… drive the development of Facebook. In both cases, we have a team that has is not just about design, but also has some great developer talent. That can help get them better integrate into the FB machine, and have their design ideas be integrated into the web site. They’ll be better equipped to have their voice heard.

Comments are closed.

Follow the Conversation

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this entry.