Friday, November 02, 2007

Pleading Ignorance

Facebook are claiming that they've not been briefed on OpenSocial. OpenSocial has turned into something of a coup for Google. SixPart (which includes LiveJournal), Bebo and MySpace were confirmed as participants yesterday. TechCrunch wondered whether it was checkmate by Google.

Even as we were wondering whether Facebook would succumb and join OpenSocial news came filtering through that they had been frozen out. Brandee Barker, the Director of corporate communications at Facebook, said:
Despite reports, Facebook has still not been briefed on OpenSocial. When we have had a chance to understand the technology, then Facebook will evaluate participation relative to the benefits to its 50 million users and 100,000 platform developers.

It was possible - after all, Google lost out to Microsoft in the bidding war to support Facebook, Facebook was the 'enemy'. Michael Arrington began going through his conference notes to review what Google had actually said when asked if they had invited Facebook into OpenSocial.
...the answer was “yes,” and then changed to “we can’t comment, followed by “we have reached out to virtually everyone in this space” (quotes are rough, I was taking notes but not recording). Whichever one is the correct answer, the clear indication was that Google was reaching out to Facebook to join the club.

As things stood then and there it looked as if Google was saying "We have invited Facebook," and Facebook was saying, "We've not been invited."

Ooops. One of the two comments would have to be misleading.

It looks as if it was Facebook who got their communication wrong. Today, Techcrunch has received the following comment from a trusted source.
People in the know have indicated to me that Facebook and Google have been talking about OpenSocial…including today. So pleading ignorance won’t last as a strategy for dealing with the OpenSocial movement.

It's not been the best few weeks for Facebook. At WebProNews, Robert Scoble is wondering will Facebook Get 'Friendstered'?.