Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Facebook Finds Quieter Ways to Complain About Google’s Search+

While Twitter led the charge this week in publicly and unequivocally blasting Google’s new promotion of Google+ in its search results, Facebook stayed quieter.

Well, on the surface, at least. Multiple stories about Google and Facebook’s 2009 failed negotiations over a search deal can clearly be traced back to Facebook.

Facebook says it couldn’t come to terms with Google over how to handle private content; Google says Facebook wanted a clause that would have prevented Google from building its own social service.

Meanwhile, Facebook employees criticized Google’s moves in public status updates. Several prominent Facebookers shared and endorsed a Gizmodo article by Mat Honan about switching his default search engine to Bing after “Google broke itself.”

They included Pedram Keyani, an engineering manager who is a frequent public face of Facebook; Paul Adams, the former Google user experience researcher whose ideas about social circles were famously influential there, but who left for Facebook before Google+ launched; and Joe Lockhart, the former White House press secretary, who is now Facebook’s VP of global communications.

Keyani wrote of the Gizmodo story:

This is a pretty interesting read. Google became something we love because they always focused on speed and giving us the best results. They have made a pretty big departure from that with their most recent change.

They say fear is a great motivator (fear of facebook and twitter) but I think in this case it has also clouded their vision.

Google was my first real fulltime job the direction they are moving in makes me sad. I hope they find their way.

Bing, by the way, did end up signing that 2009 Facebook search deal that Google backed out of — and besides that, Microsoft is an investor in Facebook. Bing passed Yahoo to finally become the second-place U.S. search provider in December.

(Image courtesy of Flickr user thepeachmartini)

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik