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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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle