A Tiny Portion of the Facebook News for the Week Ending On 5/12/2012

despdGoogle has been competing with Facebook for a long time. This goes back to before the launch of their Google+ social networking service. We have honestly never bothered to see what the original reasons for the competition are since the two companies originally did not even operate in the same market space. Google is all about ads and Facebook is really all about gathering… Ah there it is. So now that we have hit the nail on the head so to speak let’s talk about this little rivalry along with some of the fun stuff that is rumored to be going on and that is really going on.

One of the biggest rumors for Facebook has been that they will be making a phone. This one has made the rounds a few times and at one point someone even came up with a launch date. None of that was true, but the digging done by bloggers and other journalists did uncover collaboration between Microsoft and Facebook (that was put back into a phone rumor again). What the collaboration effort was about turned out to be Microsoft and Facebook working on a new version of Bing which will allow searching of Facebook and even Twitter information.

Don’t worry from what we have heard your private posts and tweets will not be splayed all over the internet, but friends of yours (on Facebook) can see comments you might have made or if you liked something. So let’s say you and your buddies when to a pub then decided to like the pub on Facebook and talk about what a great time you had on their page… well that would show up to anyone that had access to your wall (people you share information with).

There will also be a feature to allow you to pose questions to your Facebook friends about their searches (which is a little odd if you ask me). Now, while this is good for Facebook Google is going to get left out. According to Microsoft they will not be including Google + in this new feature (at least not yet). Just as Google will not have access to this type of data from Facebook or Twitter.  It could give Microsoft an boost in the search wars, but we do not think it is a true advantage. After all when Google started crawling Facebook and indexing the comments of public pages for their search we did not see a many people notice or even care about this new addition.  We will have to wait and see how Microsoft does this (ad we hope they do not screw it up).

In other Facebook news Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin decided to renounce his US Citizenship just before the IPO which could turn his meager 4% share in Facebook into a cool $4 billion. By renouncing his citizenship he gets avoid some rather hefty taxes on his new fortune. This has annoyed quite a few people who see it as nothing more than a tax dodge and a way of thumbing his nose at the US.  This is not a classy move at all and has more than a few people talking big talk (but sadly it is all talk) about never using Facebook again. As the LA Times put it; “Saverin made his riches off Facebook-loving U.S. taxpayers and is now defriending the country that made him rich when it comes time to add some of that money back to U.S. tax coffers.”

While all of that was going on Facebook made yet another change to their “data use policy” (it looks like you have no privacy on Facebook you just use their data). You see now Facebook can use “Everything you do and say on Facebook” to “advertise services to you off of Facebook based on data we have on Facebook” which is nice of them don’t you think? This is another reason why there is a Google Facebook feud going on, Facebook would really like to get into advertising with all of the user data and metrics they have collected. We know they are thinking about something as they are testing the waters with their “pay to promote” status service.

So we would not be surprised to see a Facebook ad network similar to Google Ads pop up in the near future.

All of this is happening as Facebook prepares for their IPO offering, the FTC is investigating the Instagram purchase AND Facebook is trying to launch an App store…. Has Facebook reached critical mass? We know they are concerned about losing users as they have changed their data retention policy as well with items like;

“Certain information is needed to provide you with services, so we only delete this information after you delete your account. Some of the things you do on Facebook aren’t stored in your account, like posting to a group or sending someone a message (where your friend may still have a message you sent, even after you delete your account). That information remains after you delete your account.”


“We receive data from the computer, mobile phone or other device you use to access Facebook, including when multiple users log in from the same device. This may include your IP address and other information about things like your internet service, location, the type (including identifiers) of browser you use, or the pages you visit. For example, we may get your GPS or other location information so we can tell you if any of your friends are nearby.

We receive data whenever you visit a game, application, or website that uses Facebook Platform or visit a site with a Facebook feature (such as a social plugin), sometimes through cookies. This may include the date and time you visit the site; the web address, or URL, you're on; technical information about the IP address, browser and the operating system you use; and, if you are logged in to Facebook, your User ID.”

For more on this you can read the full PDF with mark up here.

Well that about wraps things up for the Facebook news for today. There is more to talk about, but really there is so much going on with them that it is almost silly.

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