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Facebook Blocks Google+ App, Google Removes Twitter From Real Time Search

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  • Alas. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Vegemeister (1259976) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:47AM (#36660270)
    Begun, the Corp War has.
    • by causality (777677) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:57AM (#36660390)

      "Facebook has blocked access to Friend Exporter, a Google Chrome application that helps users import their Facebook contacts into Google's new social network — Google Plus. "

      Clearly Facebook is afraid to compete on the merits of its services. Isn't that the message whenever any sort of vendorlock is implemented?

      I never before took Google's social network very seriously. Now that Facebook is showing fear of them, and acting so childish about it, I'm willing to reconsider that. To anyone with some sense, Facebook is providing a more stunning endorsement of Google's services than Google itself could have ever created.

      • I second that. Also the clever marketing ploy where google plus tells me they've got no further capacity right now... Check back later....

        • by Bloodwine77 (913355) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:06AM (#36660518)

          If Google+ is to succeed, they need to stop with the invite-only nonsense. A social network is only as strong as its user-base, and Google+ remains questionable until it has enough people on it to make it worthwhile.

          • To be fair, they're "still testing." A bit like how gmail was in the early days...

            • by beuges (613130) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:16AM (#36660660) Homepage

              Except that you can test an email platform with a limited amount of users, because those users can still email others outside of your platform, due to the way email works.

              I've had a google+ profile for almost a week, and I haven't bothered logging in after the first day, because none of my friends are on it and I can't invite them either. It's a social network that doesn't allow you to network with your social circle.

              When I mentioned that I had a google+ account, at least a dozen of my friends asked me to invite them, and I couldn't. They'll probably lose interest waiting for an invite, just as I've lost interest waiting to have more friends to interact with.

              How exactly am I supposed to help them test their platform if I can't use it?

              • by mcvos (645701)

                On the other hand, I love Google+, because a lot of friends are on it that never were on Facebook. And most of my favourite and more active Facebook contacts have also migrated already. So for me, it's a big win already.

                • by AvitarX (172628)

                  That's how facebook took off too.

                  It started with less annoying people than myspace (being university only), then opened to the public, but the fact that social network whores were already invested in myspace slowed the pace of facebook becoming annoying.

                  What do I know though, I thought buzz was alright, and it's automatic stuff was painfully clear and explained to me.

                  • by bberens (965711)
                    Hopefully the "circle" concept will make it easier to make it so you don't have to hear social network spam from your friends with no lives. I don't have a g+ account, and I'm not particularly interested in signing up but it does seem like it could make some headway wrt what you're talking about.
              • by daedae (1089329)

                That's what happened for me with Wave. Eventually I got my wife on it and we used it to plan some travel, but none of my other friends really used it. (Of course, the bigger problem with Wave was nobody really knew what to use it for, even once it opened and they had people to use it with.)

                Plus has worked out much better for my social network, though: one of my friends got an invite and the majority of our network got added in the ~12 hour period that invites were open. One of our friends remarked that w

              • by Nemyst (1383049)

                I've invited my friends just fine. You just need to share something with them, at which point they'll get an email with info and a link to join Google+.

              • by Hatta (162192)

                Except that you can test an email platform with a limited amount of users, because those users can still email others outside of your platform, due to the way email works.

                Which is exactly the way social networking should work. If they took a hint from SMTP, NNTP, and IRC they could come up with a nice, distributed social network protocol that could last for 30 years.

              • by redemtionboy (890616) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @12:13PM (#36662176)
                Because Facebook launched nationwide to everyone at once and didn't do something like slowly expand from school to school and then eventually to the general public....oh wait.
            • Yup, if they had opened it up immediately and there were any bugs, these same folks would be here bitching and moaning that they should have tested it first.
          • by segedunum (883035) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:12AM (#36660590)
            Facebook was effectively invite only for a while until anyone over 13 could join up and that only seemed to increase the excitement. You want to be a part of what you can't have.

            If I was Facebook I would be worried. Zuckerberg merely came up with a few chance ideas that made social networks......social. Relationship status and all that. Apart from that it's merely a fairly clean looking, unspectacular PHP application. Facebook's lead as the premier social networking site is everything. If they have to start competing on technology then the future doesn't look bright.
            • by Zenaku (821866) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:33AM (#36660868)

              Facebook started out by being only available to students attending a few select schools, but I don't think that is "effectively invite only." The difference is that when one is a full-time student at a university, the vast majority of your friends and acquaintances are also students at that university. It wasn't open to the public, but for those it was open to, it was also open to a great many of the people they would want to interact with.

              With Google+ the sample of people you could network with is essentially random. I would like to try it, but I haven't scored an invite, and even if I did -- I only know one other person who has been able to try it.

              • by tepples (727027)

                With Google+ the sample of people you could network with is essentially random.

                The same thing happened to Orkut, if I remember correctly.

          • On the other hand maybe they want to make sure there aren't any kinks or drastic oversights that will cause mass poor publicity, like what happened with buzz.
          • Yeah, that strategy was a huge flop for Gmail. . . ;)

            • There's a big difference between email and social networking (at least as currently implemented). Email is naturally federated. I run my own mail server, and only three people have accounts on it, but we can still exchange emails with anyone else that we want to. If I run a social networking server with three users... that's just a bit sad. Unless, of course, it's running some open protocol that has established servers (Diaspora, OpenSocial, OneSocialWeb, and so on). Unfortunately, none of these protoc
              • Meh. You're right, of course, but I don't think the strategy will hurt Google with +. MMO's do ultra-limited releases to special beta testers too, and they do just fine. I think they'll build enough buzz and then do a wide release, and I think that once they release it they'll have their biggest marketing advantage still intact- - people are pissed at FB for all the privacy BS they pull, and would love to ditch it.

          • by DarkOx (621550)

            I don't know about that. Facebook owes I think much of its early success to its at the time exclusivity. First it was just Harvard, then it was Harvard and some other top teir schools. People joined because it was people they already knew personally and trusted or people that had already been vetted by the administrations board of an institution they have some degree of trust in, who they would be encountering as other users of the service.

            Then Facebook expanded to pretty much any College, which still re

          • by Tarlus (1000874)

            Kind of like how the invitation-only beta caused Gmail to be such a failure?

          • by bberens (965711)
            Manufactured scarcity is one of the many marketing tactics used to increase demand. It's used in everything from cellphones and Nintendos to even Facebook, which started out as an "exclusive" service to members of certain colleges.
            • The Wii's scarcity had NOTHING to do with manufactured scarcity. They simply COULD NOT make them fast enough.
          • by Verteiron (224042)

            I've found that you can invite anyone in simply by manually adding their email address to a Google+ post you make. Everyone that I have "Added" in such a way has received an email that allowed them to create an account.

          • by thynk (653762)

            If Google+ is to succeed, they need to stop with the invite-only nonsense. A social network is only as strong as its user-base, and Google+ remains questionable until it has enough people on it to make it worthwhile.

            I disagree. By limiting the access to the service, it makes it a scarce resource and people who wouldn't be interested in it are now dying to get in because they have been told they can't. Besides, if even I can get an invite in, anyone who knows anyone can probably find a way in.

        • by slyrat (1143997)

          I second that. Also the clever marketing ploy where google plus tells me they've got no further capacity right now... Check back later....

          The reason they are doing this is because of previous problems with letting everyone in at the beginning. They messed things up with Buzz when they did that. I think it is a good idea so that a lot of the kinks and small annoyances get worked out.

          • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

            The reason they are doing this is because of previous problems with letting everyone in at the beginning. They messed things up with Buzz when they did that. I think it is a good idea so that a lot of the kinks and small annoyances get worked out.

            The problem with Buzz was that everyone was immediately integrated in to Buzz which exposed some aspects of one's other Google service accounts that wasn't otherwise previously available to others.

          • by Tarlus (1000874)

            Not only that, but I think the exclusivity causes people to covet it until they start to wet themselves with anticipation. Once they finally get access they'll feel like they've just crossed something off their bucket list.

            When I saw the announcement at Engadget and saw how many people were foaming at the mouth while freely tossing out their email addresses into the open for a scrap, I lost a little bit of my faith in humanity.

      • by ByOhTek (1181381)

        Agreed. I wonder if Google should pay facebook commission for this? Maybe a LOL email every 1k users?

      • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:43AM (#36661024)

        It all wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that Facebook built up it's userbase around taking information from things like MSN, your e-mail contacts and so forth.

        Worse, I've had a Facebook recommendation from Facebook for someone I've only ever spoken to via MSN and have no real life friend connections, and both of us are tech savvy such that neither of us let Facebook import friends from Outlook, MSN etc. and we both live at opposite ends of the country and have never met IRL so I'm still to this day a little perplexed as to how the hell Facebook made that link. It kind of implies that Facebook has had access to MSN data even when explicit permission wasn't given.

        In this respect it's sheer hypocrisy, I mean what the hell is wrong with them? It's fine for them to build their business off the back of others, but not for someone else to do the same with them?

    • by arth1 (260657)

      And as in any war, the overwhelming majority of casualties will be civilians.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:52AM (#36660316) Homepage Journal

    Facebook is really annoying because my friends are well my friends. My pictures and so on.
    Twitter is and Google I hope will fix this. Twitter is just an odd thing. How do they make money without destroying Twitter? Also I am shocked how few people use Twitter and yet at the same time how important it has become.

    • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:58AM (#36660402)
      Didn't you read the TOS? Your friends are now Facebook's friends. Your pictures and memories.... all belong to Facebook. I believe there was something about your soul in there as well...
      • by Bieeanda (961632)
        Nah. They made a play for people's souls, but millions Liked the 'plz dont take my soul FB' group page and they backed off. Everyone expects them to try it again sometime soon, though.
      • Your pictures and memories.... all belong to Facebook

        No they don't. Facebook just has a sublicenseable, transferable, license to them that they can sell to any interested parties. You still nominally own them. For extra fun, if you upload any pictures to Facebook that you don't own the copyright for, you just indemnified Facebook if they are sued for selling them when they don't actually have a valid license to do so.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lazy Jones (8403)

      Twitter is and Google I hope will fix this.

      Last time I checked, Google was a big corporation determined to increase its revenue by all possible means, just like Facebook. If they have turned into a charity recently, I must have missed it.

      • Last time I checked, Google was a big corporation determined to increase its revenue by all possible means, just like Facebook. If they have turned into a charity recently, I must have missed it.

        People who invest in Google do so under the expectation that Google's self-imposed guideline of not being evil will help Google's earnings in the long run.

  • by Bloodwine77 (913355) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:59AM (#36660408)

    If there was any doubt as to how Facebook thinks of its users, this should drive home the fact that people are Facebook's product. It is only free if you don't value your information.

    • Fortunately for Facebook, ~500 million people don't value their information.

      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        I'd like to believe a reasonable percentage of those people use fake or unhelpful-to-Facebook information. For example, my political views are listed as "yes" and my religion is listed as "Pastafarian".

        • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:23AM (#36660746)
          That might not matter quite as much as you think. Do you only have nonsense conversations with your contacts on Facebook? Do people only post nonsense messages on your "wall?" Do you only click on random links? Facebook collects a lot more information than what you overtly give them.
        • I'm not sure what Facebook considers helpful, but from a statistical perspective a semi-unique joke-response probably reveals more than an ubiquitous sincere response. Take two people who list Christian on their profile, and take two people who list Pastafarian (you aren't the only one). I suspect that the latter pair has more in common than the former pair.
      • In my experience, most of these people just didn't read the ToS. When people ask me why I'm not on Facebook, I quote a few of the rights that you grant to Facebook for anything that you upload. The universal reaction has been shock, usually followed by 'is that legal?'.
    • Why does this SHITE always get posted?
      For a dating site, would you say the women are the product, and the men are the customers?
      No, they are both customers, just not equal due to the pricing structure.

      Facebook is structured like any agency, with two products, facing two different sets of customers.

      • For a dating site, would you say the women are the product, and the men are the customers?

        No, but for a cattle farm I would say that cows are the product. The farmers feed and generally take care of the herd, but nobody would claim that there is some kind of "tit for tat" relationship.

      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        For a dating site, would you say the women are the product, and the men are the customers?
        No, they are both customers, just not equal due to the pricing structure.

        You picked a bad analogy; you're both a product and a customer on a dating site. You (customer) browse the selection of men/women (product) available and they (customer) do the same to you (product).

  • Thank you Facebook (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JanneM (7445) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:59AM (#36660410) Homepage

    You just gave me another reason to go with Google+ and ignoring you.

    • by arth1 (260657) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:13AM (#36660614) Homepage Journal

      You just gave me another reason to go with Google+ and ignoring you.

      I see a reason to avoid both empires.
      Yes, despite common belief, you can have an active online life without Facebook and Google.

      (I switched my search provider from Google last week. After the latest "improvements", almost all search results I get are from Chinese wholesale companies and Indian ad-sponsored keyword re-bloggers, of which there appears to be millions. I.e. Google has become far less useful.)

      • Stop searching for Indian Viagra, then. Facebook and LinkedIn are convenient ways to keep track of friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. Of course, it's possible to do it without Facebook, but it's much more complicated to do so.

    • Don't add your reason to the giant pile of reasons to leave Facebook which is so high it's blocking the sun in parts of South America. Reduce, Reuse, Refriend.

  • So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hjf (703092) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:01AM (#36660452) Homepage

    When does the antitrust trial begin? It's like Microsoft all over again. Facebook abuses its dominant position on the internet (facebook forms in almost every "web 2.0" website, just like IE was "so tightly integrated in windows that it couldn't be removed"). And now they're also trying to destroy competition by blocking them.

    In comparison, with IE you can at least download another browser. Facebook won't help you in your transition (or let you delete your stuff from their servers).

    Come on, guys... you hated MS for much less than this.

    • And you also think Google should face antitrust trial for blocking Facebook from getting Gmail contacts, right?

      • by hjf (703092)

        Sure. And for including that stupid +1 button (which you can't remove) in every search result, and not a "Like in Facebook" button. Isn't that kinda like including IE in Windows (which you can't remove), and not Firefox?

        Don't be stupid, at the time when Netscape went out of business, IE *was* a better browser. Netscape was just butthurt because of IE, and if you have some memory, you will remember that it happened in the middle of the dotcom bubble, and ended with the bubble bursting. It took away many comp

      • If Google had the monopoly on email contacts like Facebook has a monopoly on social contacts then yes.

    • by Alrescha (50745)

      "Come on, guys... you hated MS for much less than this."

      Your historical information is incomplete. The integration of IE into Windows was the least of Microsofts abuses.

      A.

      • by hjf (703092)

        No, it all started with the IE suit. The rest was internal memos and stuff ANY COMPANY, INCLUDING GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK, does.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:05AM (#36660496) Homepage Journal

    "Being friends" through these sites is sort of like 'having sex' with blow up dolls, but worse, because you actually own the dolls and can do whatever.

    On the other hand nobody who uses these sites pays them anythings, so maybe it's not like 'having sex' with blow up dolls.

    Or maybe it is, I am not sure anymore. How many libraries of congress can fit in one's 'friends list' on a site like that exactly?

  • Curious (Score:5, Informative)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:10AM (#36660572)

    Facebook count on the social network being 'sticky' enough to retain their users and make it hard to move. Obviously, with competitors which don't suck, they need to play dirty.

    I was keen to see if their backup feature exported email addresses. Sure enough, it doesn't. So there goes my idea of writing a script to extract my contacts out of Facebook backups suitable for import into Google+.

    About the only way this state of affairs will change, is if the bad publicity gets bad enough for Facebook to be shamed into doing the right thing.

    Smart move by Facebook -- pissing off their hardcore techie users. Very classy.

    • Smart move by Facebook -- pissing off their hardcore techie users.

      So an irrelevant minority that they will never miss?

  • by morgosmaci (1277138) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:22AM (#36660728)
    Just sign into yahoo using your facebook account and it will even create a throw away yahoo acount for you and import all of your facebook friends as contacts. Then just export those contacts into a vcf and import them into a contact group in gmail. (Or import them directly into G+).
  • Last year, Google blocked Facebook from accessing gmail contacts. This is just tit for tat.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704353504575596913266928110.html [wsj.com]

    • by imbaczek (690596)
      that's only because facebook never allowed google their contacts in the first place.
    • by makomk (752139) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:41AM (#36660998) Journal

      They blocked Facebook from accessing GMail contacts directly because Facebook wouldn't allow them to import Facebook contacts directly. You can still download your entire GMail contacts list yourself in a multitude of formats and do whatever you like with them, including importing them into Facebook if you really want to, whereas this news article is about Facebook blocking their own users from doing the same kind of mass-export.

  • by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @10:25AM (#36660764) Journal
    Is when cloud computing is done by thunderclouds - battling each other!
  • by Tei (520358)

    I hope the existence of this closed gardens are a temporal phenomenom on the internet. We will learn as much as possible about how people want to interact on the internet (because everything is possible), then we could implement that as a open protocol, so it avoid all the problem of closed gardens.

    Anyway, seems to me that is not the time for open protocols, not yet.

    • by boristdog (133725)

      Has anyone developed an open protocol for social networks yet?

      I've been thinking about doing such a thing, but life keeps getting in the way.

  • by vlm (69642)

    reader dkd903 points out that Google has been busy removing Twitter from real time search, due to a contract expiry with Twitter.

    Has anyone out there in /. land ever google'd for something and found the answer in a twitter post? Has anyone on /. ever seen a twitter post containing something that could theoretically be something someone would search for?

    I imagine its about as common as searching for airline tickets and finding a UFO.

    • by Sepodati (746220)

      It's not regular search, it's "realtime search". You choose a topic and see a stream of news and social network posts regarding the topic. I've used it in the past to follow sporting or big news events to see what people were saying about it.

    • by RJFerret (1279530)

      Yes, I discovered realtime search was gone when I tried to share a Twitter conversation with a friend who wants a musical instrument.

      Separately, a friend was engaged in an urban treasure hunt, in a different state, I was able to tell her where a person her team needed to find was, since he shared it an hour before entirely separately.

      Let's see, I've used it to learn about one-day sales/promotions, I've used it to learn about status of servers (the first place "Is such-and-such up?" seems to get asked is Twi

  • Can't Google just download the user's FB data through one of the glaring security holes we keep hearing of?
  • Google+ isn't even open to the general public yet, but there are already 3rd utils, web sites, etc..

    Feeling left out.

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