Google Buys One FB: Is Another One Next?

Topic: The Intarweb 12 years, 5 months ago

TechCrunch is reporting that FeedBurner has been acquired by Google for $100 million or so. Bugger.

Listen, I understand that this is great news for FeedBurner and congratulations to them. But as a FeedBurner user, I’m somewhat worried. (The main blog and comments feeds here at Digital Kaleidoscope are run through FeedBurner.)

Will unwanted Google AdSense start appearing in feeds? What will change in the FeedBurner service as it gets Google-fied? What will happen to FeedBurner’s sense of humour? My feed is currently imported into my Facebook notes. Will that have to change depending on the situation with ads?

Speaking of Facebook, there’s always speculation about whether they will be acquired. Again, that’s another one I worry about. I currently trust a good amount of private information to Facebook and I’d hate to see them bought out by Google — I just don’t trust them with any of my data. Even Microsoft would be a better buyer, if Facebook was to sell at all. (Either way, I’d still worry about losing the crisp, clean interface that Facebook currently sports.)

Oh the things that keep me up at night… everything being swallowed up by Google. What has the world come to? ;)

ZOMG Rejoice! It’s the Second Coming! Randoms #1 (11 June 2007)

4 Comments Add your own

  • . Johnny  |  12 years, 4 months ago

    i hope they don’t buy out porn

  • . tim  |  12 years, 3 months ago

    google = big brother

  • . tim  |  12 years, 3 months ago

    why would you trust facebook btw? who owns facebook now? are they allowed to sell on the information they’re gathering?

    it’d be priceless. if you think about it it’s effectively monitoring how people are connected (who dated who for eg), their likes/dislikes, personal info, photographs, daily habits/events, what you’re buying or selling, etc.

    facebook = big brother

  • . Stephen Mok  |  12 years, 3 months ago

    Of course the information that Facebook contains is priceless to marketers, given the demographic and the amount of information a typical user contributes. I’m not saying I implicitly trust Facebook, I’m just saying I trust Google even less. And that I’d trust Facebook less if it is sold to Google.

    IIRC Facebook is currently owned by founder Mark Zuckerberg and venture capitalist partners who have chipped in almost $13 million I think. But the important point is that Zuckerberg and co. haven’t lost control and that the company is still tiny compared to giants like Google.

    The reason why I trust Facebook (as it is) more is because I feel they are more transparent than Google about their objectives and their information gathering and use. Here’s a snippet from their Privacy Policy:

    Facebook is about sharing information with others — friends and people in your networks — while providing you with privacy settings that restrict other users from accessing your information. We allow you to choose the information you provide to friends and networks through Facebook. Our network architecture and your privacy settings allow you to make informed choices about who has access to your information. We do not provide contact information to third party marketers without your permission. We share your information with third parties only in limited circumstances where we believe such sharing is 1) reasonably necessary to offer the service, 2) legally required or, 3) permitted by you.

    Of course there have been lots of questions asked about Facebook’s Privacy Policy and their actions too. An example is how the Facebook Platform complicates things:

    Before allowing any Platform Developer to make any Platform Application available to you, Facebook requires the Platform Developer to enter into an agreement which, among other things, requires them to respect your privacy settings and strictly limits their collection, use, and storage of your information. However, while we have undertaken contractual and technical steps to restrict possible misuse of such information by such Platform Developers, we of course cannot and do not guarantee that all Platform Developers will abide by such agreements.

    But I can’t help but feel that I’m more comfortable with their approach than what we have so far seen from Google.

    Interestingly, a recent report from Privacy International roundly condemns both Google and Facebook. They even gave better marks to Microsoft (who I trust a lot more than either Google or Facebook). ;)

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