Ali-Frazier. Yankees-Red Sox. Celtics-Lakers. The sports world has often seen knock-down, drag-out battles between titans. But seldom do massive companies zero in on each other.
In the latest salvo of an increasingly nasty war, Facebook hired public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller to try to covertly get journalists and bloggers to write negative articles about Google's privacy practices relating to its new social media feature.
The feature in question, Social Circle, allows Facebook user information to show up via a Google search.. While Facebook says Google is infringing on its users privacy, some say, Facebook railing on about the abuse of its users privacy is like the pot calling the kettle black.
"There is a battle for the future of the Web," Ray Valdes, an analyst at Gartner, told ComputerWorld, "and it is not about search engines, but about the social Web."
"The competition is between the new and the old -- between Facebook as the early leader in the social Web, and Google as the dominant player in the content Web. Everyone else, such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Twitter, will play a secondary role," adds Valdes, "and will start lining up on one side or the other."
Fox News Latino assembled a group of social media experts and influencers to gauge their thoughts on the brewing Facebook vs. Google brouhaha.
Lance Rios, Founder of Being Latino: As stated in the movie 'The Social Network', "the internet isn't written in pencil, it's written in ink". As so, we can never expect for anything to be fully private in any capacity, ESPECIALLY when it comes to social networking sites. What Google is doing is wrong and intrusive and I see it to be a direct violation of our rights and believe that they will soon be reprimanded.
While this specific incident will not be the last of companies trying to invade our personal lives, I do think that it will set off a red flag, leading many companies to be a little more conservative about how to approach people and their privacy.
Louis Pagan, Content Director for Hispanicize: This is not shocking to me. Google is making use of already public data...the big 'problem' with social media is just that - the media that you put out there is public. If that's a 'bug' in social media that needs to be fixed is another conversation. Unfortunately, the public is slow in learning this.
What I find disturbing about this story is the sneaky tactic that Facebook used to bring this to the public's attention. Back door deals, and back door conversations are suspicious in their very nature and should be taken with a grain of salt. It seems that Facebook wanted this story to go viral and wipe their hands clean from it.
It's like a cold war between the two companies, and the coveted prize is user data.
Julio Ricardo Varela, Founder of Latino Rebels: As a prophet of social media, Facebook made a huge error by turning this over to a PR company. It surprised me, since they are all about transparency, but in this case, they acted just like any other technology corporation.
The Google tactics don't bother me at all. My profile is protected on Facebook but I also allow some of my information to go out into cyberspace. From a marketing perspective, being linked to Google creates a greater opportunity for someone new to click on your profile. Makes sense to me.
In the end, this is moot, since Facebook will buy out Google in three years.