How Facebook Enables The Google Social “Scraping” It’s Upset About

facebook-logo-featured I wrote a very long examination of the issues that Facebook employed a PR firm to publicize, about how Facebook feels Google may be violating privacy with its Google Social Search product. Here's a shorter look, especially from the angle of how Facebook itself has enabled Google to do what Facebook is now complaining about. Facebook said this about Google, in its statement from my original article: We wanted third parties to verify that people did not approve of the collection and use of information from their accounts on Facebook and other services for inclusion in Google Social Circles [...]

Examining Facebook’s “Smear Campaign” Concerns About Google Social Circles

Google & Facebook, Sitting In A Logo I read the news today, oh boy. The Facebook army had just declared a war. Well, a smear campaign against Google. For the record, Facebook denies that it actually ran such a campaign, but it does confirm it has issues with how Google is using some of Facebook's social data. Do those allegations stand up? Let's take a look. The required prerequisite reading is the Daily Beast article talking about the PR campaign that Facebook attempted. Also see reactions to the news in this Techmeme roundup. Let's start with the allegations. I emailed over to Facebook: So I read the Daily Beast article. [...]

Angstro Buy, Shopping, Gaming Investments Point To Multi-Pronged Google Social Strategy

Last week Google acquired Angstro. The site has been described as a way to discover and organize information about individuals across various professional networks. Here's how Angstro describes itself: Ångströ represents the ability to hone in on highly focused, relevant news across professional networks. Where search engines such as Google and other news aggregator services have immense infrastructures that return a huge array of random results, Ångströ analyses a wide breadth of information from multiple data sources to deliver very few, yet very intelligent results. The pundit consens [...]

Hoping To Improve People Search, Google Launches “Profile Results”

Ever searched for yourself on Google and come away dissatisfied, especially if someone else you share a name with seems to dominate the results? Ever looked for someone else and been disappointed that you couldn't find the person you wanted? Google's new "Profile Results" launching today aim to correct both problems. Since the end of 2007, Google has allowed people to create Google Profile pages for use with certain Google services. For example, if you created content in Google Maps, your Google Profile let you share who you were with others using that service. The same profile also [...]

Google Friend Connect Introduces Social Widgets For Site Owners

Contrary to some earlier reports, Google's new Friend Connect, launching today, is not focused on data portability or a direct answer to MySpace "Data Availability" or the new Facebook Connect. While there's a data portability dimension, it's focused on the flip side of the equation: site owners who want to make their sites more "social." Accordingly, it's more like a Ning competitor. Right now Friend Connect is in a very limited beta with a few "white listed" sites. However, eventually, site owners will be able go to a wizard (available here later today), select "social gadgets" or modules, [...]

Mine The Web’s Socially-Tagged Links: Google Social Graph API Launched

Did you know there's a way to tag links on pages to indicate social connections? I'd heard about this vaguely, but you can bet there's going to be much more public awareness and potential use, thanks to Google launching its new Google Social Graph API. Now available, the API allows developers to discover socially-labeled links on pages and generate connections between them. "We want to make the connections searchable. We think there are a few things people will do with that. We think they'll build some [social linking] exploration tools," said David Glazer, a director of enginee [...]

Google’s Marissa Mayer On Social Search / Search 4.0

VentureBeat has a nice Q&A with Google's Marissa Mayer on how the search engine is considering using social data to improve its search results -- what I've described as "Search 4.0" as a generational jump in my Search 3.0 article from earlier this year. Some highlights below: Social search is hard, in that many searches are sensitive, so letting people in your network know what you are looking for raises serious privacy issues.   Google might try doing more with labeling or tagging results as a way to implement social search. Marissa talked about the existing Google Co [...]

Google The Stealth Social Network?

Google's plan to socialize its various applications continues. Google Operating System has spotted code in Gmail that may lead to a Facebook-style news feed of status updates from your Gmail contacts. More about this and Google's continued "stealth social network" moves below. Back in September, Google launched a friends update feature on Orkut. Activity Streams & Other Social Nuggets From Leaked Google Video covers this plus how Google is working to create "activity streams" for all of its products as a way to make them more social and akin to Facebook. In October, [...]

Google Reader Gets Social With Friends Shared Items

Google's made a significant move toward trying to have a Facebook-like news feed and beef up its social networking aspirations by integrating Google Talk / Gmail contacts with Google Reader. I'd seen the discussion earlier, but after now experiencing it first-hand, it's kind of scary that it isn't more opt-in rather than opt-out. When I logged in today, I got this message popping-up within Google Reader: I was a bit taken aback. Let's look again at what it tells me: Your Reader shared items are being made available to your friends from Google Talk. You can see what these friends are shar [...]

Google Unifying And Putting More Emphasis On “Profiles”

Google Operating System discusses the integration of Google Profiles into most Google services and products and the unification of disparate profiles into a single master profile. Whether and how this might ultimately be integrated with Google's newly reinvigorated social network, Orkut, is unclear. Although they are much less extensive, Profiles may turn out to be to Orkut what Shopping became to Froogle -- a successor and repositioned product. As Google Operating System points out, the new Profiles are already in use in several areas on Google, such as Maps and Reader. Many things are inte [...]

Facebook Opens Platform, Bebo Adopts It

TechCrunch reports that social network Bebo launched its new Open Application Platform this morning in San Francisco. But the platform is an exact duplicate of Facebook's platform, based on Facebook opening up the code to third-party developers. (Here's the Bebo press release.) Bebo is part of OpenSocial, the competing Google initiative that also features MySpace, among others. However, Bebo's embrace of the Facebook platform may signal that that the latter's platform (and not OpenSocial) is the one that will become the standard. There are already hundreds of applications for Facebook platfor [...]

Inbox 2.0: Vision And Perhaps Confusion At Google And Yahoo

A much discussed blog posting this morning comes from Saul Hansell at the New York Times, who spoke to both Google and Yahoo about their plans to turn their email products into social networks, in a manner of speaking: "Inbox 2.0." The plans discussed in the post suggest some clever and creative thinking about how both companies can leverage their existing products and integrate them with other properties. But people at both companies also seem to be in a kind of frenzy, which may turn out to be unjustified in the long run, over how to compete with Facebook. Here's what Hansell says about Go [...]

Google: As Open As It Wants To Be (i.e., When It’s Convenient)

In two weeks, we've had two "open" initiatives from Google: OpenSocial, to free social networking data from behind the Facebook walled garden and the Open Handset Alliance, to free cell phones from a myriad of complicated mobile OS platforms and carriers who want to restrict features. I've seen some people writing about open as the new black, with Google showing its fashion sense by dressing in the latest color. But lest anyone think that Google's wardrobe is being replaced with an all-open line-up, it's worth remembering that recently, open mainly fits Google when it's behind compet [...]

MySpace, Others Join Google-Led OpenSocial

First reported by Silicon Alley Insider and then confirmed with additional detail by TechCrunch, Google has added more high-profile partners to its OpenSocial initiative. They are MySpace, Bebo, and SixApart, which now join LinkedIn, Plaxo, and Friendster, among several others, in the alliance or coalition. The inclusion of MySpace, which has now apparently abandoned its own open platform effort, means that Facebook faces a huge strategic decision about whether to join or "go it alone." The OpenSocial effort is a response in part to Facebook Platform and its success. If Facebook fails to jo [...]

OpenSocial: Led By Google, Social Networks Band To Take On Facebook

As expected, the much-discussed Google social play turns out to be an alliance with other companies to "open up" social networks and their data to developers. TechCrunch and the New York Times both have early news of an expected announcement tomorrow on how Google, along with partners like Ning, Linked In, Friendster, and others, will introduce a set of common APIs -- called OpenSocial -- to be used for getting data from and writing applications for social networks. The idea, as the New York Times explains, is to help combat the number of people who are developing for Facebook [...]

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