Why Microsoft will buy Facebook and keep it closed

Cartoon about something important happening on Web

It no longer is about Data Portability or Social Graph Portability, if you will.

I’m hearing these rumors too that John Furrier (my ex-boss) is reporting. That Microsoft will buy Yahoo’s search and then buy Facebook for $15 to $20 billion. Add that to all the news that Microsoft is buying Yahoo’s search and that gets very interesting.

That just changed the whole argument of Facebook vs. Google to one of Microsoft vs. the Web.

Think about this just a second.

Let’s say Microsoft gets Yahoo’s search. That doesn’t look that brilliant. After all, we know Google is gaining share there and taking Yahoo’s best advertisers (and let’s just forget Microsoft’s efforts, which have been an utter failure so far).

But these two moves would change everything and totally explain why Facebook is working overtime to keep Google from importing anything. First, let’s look at what is at stake here:

Loic Le Meur did a little test with me a couple of weeks ago. He listed his Le Web conference on both Facebook and Upcoming.org. Here’s the Facebook listing. Here’s the Upcoming.org one.

The Facebook one can’t be seen if you don’t have a Facebook account. It’s NOT open to the public Web. Google’s spiders CAN NOT REACH IT.

He put both listings up at exactly the same time and did no invites, nothing. Just let people find these listings on their own.

The Facebook one is NOT available to the Web. It has 467 people who’ve accepted it. The Upcoming.org one IS available to Google and the Web. It has 101 people on it.

This is a fight for the Web. We all just crawled inside a box that locks Google out.

Don’t believe me?

Go to Google and do a search for “Le Web 08.”

Do you see a Facebook entry there? Nope. Google is locked out of the Web that soon will be owned by Microsoft. We will never get an open Web back if these two deals happen.

This has created HUGE value for Microsoft and has handed Steve Ballmer an Internet strategy which brings Microsoft from last place to first in less than a week.

Boom!

Now Microsoft/Yahoo search will have access to HUGE SWATHS of Internet info that Google will NOT have access to.

Data and social graph portability is dead on arrival.

Microsoft just bought itself a search strategy that sure looks like a winner to me.

If all this is true there is no way in hell that Facebook will open up now.

It’s Facebook and Microsoft vs. the open public Web.

Can the open public Web fight back? Yes. It’s called FriendFeed. Notice that FriendFeed replaces almost all of Facebook’s killer features with open ones that are open to Google’s search.

So, now, do you see why I’m so interested in FriendFeed? It’s our only hope to compete with Microsoft’s new “buy enough and keep it closed” search strategy.

Don’t think this matters? It sure does. Relevancy on Yahoo search will go through the roof when it has access to Facebook data and Google doesn’t. People will see that Yahoo has people search (something I’ve asked Google for for years) and Google doesn’t. That’ll turn the tide in advertising, and all that.

Brilliant move, if this all comes true.

I’ve SMS’d Mark Zuckerberg and asked him if he’s selling. I doubt he’ll answer. I hope he holds out for more than $20 billion. He just might get it.

UPDATE: Someone on Twitter (Soulhuntre) says that it doesn’t matter as long as HTTP keeps working. That’s just the point. Facebook BLOCKS HTTP if you aren’t logged into its system and it can remove you at a moment’s notice. @irinaslutsky (former employee of mine) was removed last week from Facebook. This is a scary company and if it gets in the hands of Microsoft will create a scary monopoly.

UPDATE2: thanks to XKCD for the cartoon. I love those cartoons.

Comments

  1. Yes , Robert but this smacks of MS of old with the old MSN and AOL and Compuserve.

    Eventually people get tired of the walled garden and get over it. Yes, EVERYONE was on AOL for years and then the web opened up and they realized there was LIFE BEYOND AOL. Just like there is life beyond FaceBook.

    If you ask me, it’s Microsoft shooting themselves in the foot if they keep the garden wall up.

    Now then, making BETTER search results available through MS Live Search rather than Google within their Walled garden – now THAT’S something they could do.

  2. Hi Robert, what’s the value for Microsoft for keeping it closed. In the developing world, Facebook is just a small player. Take Brazil and India where Orkut and Hi5 are dominant players. Wouldn’t MSFT be more interested in the geographies which are growing than just the US markets?

    I hope the Facebook folks are not stupid enough to let this happen. But yes, money does change everything. Thank god for twitter and friendfeed though!

  3. Yes , Robert but this smacks of MS of old with the old MSN and AOL and Compuserve.

    Eventually people get tired of the walled garden and get over it. Yes, EVERYONE was on AOL for years and then the web opened up and they realized there was LIFE BEYOND AOL. Just like there is life beyond FaceBook.

    If you ask me, it’s Microsoft shooting themselves in the foot if they keep the garden wall up.

    Now then, making BETTER search results available through MS Live Search rather than Google within their Walled garden – now THAT’S something they could do.

  4. Hi Robert, what’s the value for Microsoft for keeping it closed. In the developing world, Facebook is just a small player. Take Brazil and India where Orkut and Hi5 are dominant players. Wouldn’t MSFT be more interested in the geographies which are growing than just the US markets?

    I hope the Facebook folks are not stupid enough to let this happen. But yes, money does change everything. Thank god for twitter and friendfeed though!

  5. interesting observations,

    once again it looks like quality of service is almost irrelevant, it’s all about people, attention and data. which facebook has got.

    friendfeed has a long way to go though.

  6. interesting observations,

    once again it looks like quality of service is almost irrelevant, it’s all about people, attention and data. which facebook has got.

    friendfeed has a long way to go though.

  7. I still don’t get it….

    If Google has access to billions of web pages created by over a billion people, why would Facebook’s 60 million members make a dent? Almost everybody has more content outside of Facebook than inside it?

  8. I still don’t get it….

    If Google has access to billions of web pages created by over a billion people, why would Facebook’s 60 million members make a dent? Almost everybody has more content outside of Facebook than inside it?

  9. Perhaps Google should just cough up the money and buy Facebook instead ;)

    But declaring the open web dead if MS’s deals goes through, isn’t that a bit far fetched?

    Isn’t this just another FriendFeed is your friend post? =P

  10. Perhaps Google should just cough up the money and buy Facebook instead ;)

    But declaring the open web dead if MS’s deals goes through, isn’t that a bit far fetched?

    Isn’t this just another FriendFeed is your friend post? =P

  11. Sorry Robert, I think that’s bullshit. MSFT realise that keeping stuff closed is going to make them too many enemies in the long run and gaining mindshare on the web is most definitely a popularity contest. Keeping Facebook closed will be detrimental in the long run.

    Plus, argubly MSFT are more open than anyone else right now (not my words – they’re Marc Canter’s).

    -Jamie

  12. Sorry Robert, I think that’s bullshit. MSFT realise that keeping stuff closed is going to make them too many enemies in the long run and gaining mindshare on the web is most definitely a popularity contest. Keeping Facebook closed will be detrimental in the long run.

    Plus, argubly MSFT are more open than anyone else right now (not my words – they’re Marc Canter’s).

    -Jamie

  13. wilsonng: Facebook already is the biggest repository of videos and photo on the Internet. Also is the best event calendar — by far. Also has the best social graph data — by far. Keeping this all locked up so Yahoo/Microsoft could search it and Google couldn’t will totally change the business.

    Anyway, stay tuned. I see a ton of pushback. I’ll be on the Gillmor Gang this afternoon.

  14. wilsonng: Facebook already is the biggest repository of videos and photo on the Internet. Also is the best event calendar — by far. Also has the best social graph data — by far. Keeping this all locked up so Yahoo/Microsoft could search it and Google couldn’t will totally change the business.

    Anyway, stay tuned. I see a ton of pushback. I’ll be on the Gillmor Gang this afternoon.

  15. That’s a whole bunch of craziness there, I’d love to say ‘Scoble, what the crack have you been smoking’ but the thing is it’s not a huge leap to get toward this conclusion that you’ve proposed here..

    Scary scary times!

  16. That’s a whole bunch of craziness there, I’d love to say ‘Scoble, what the crack have you been smoking’ but the thing is it’s not a huge leap to get toward this conclusion that you’ve proposed here..

    Scary scary times!

  17. I see what the big deal is. Facebook is hardly hidden from Google.

    site:www.facebook.com

    Brings up few results. Could it be that Google has no idea as to how to judge the importance of a page in Facebook… possibly. This would go a long way to prove the point that Google doesn’t always have the most relevant results.

    If Microsoft pull this one off… then good on them, for now. Here in South Africa Google have something silly like 98% of all of the search market. Want to talk monopoly’s?

  18. Is the answer for everyone to just dump Facebook? Go elsewhere and out in the bright, open web? Like the good old days? (Hmm.. or was that MySpace)

    Someone needs to redux the Epic 2015 video ;)

  19. I can’t search most of Facebook when I’m inside Facebook. At best I can get name of people, but I can’t see their data unless I’m a friend. I don’t see how that is going to change. Pages in Facebook are already open. What exactly would they be able to search that they can’t now?

    I also don’t think Facebook is as cool or cutting edge as it once was. If Microsoft purchased Facebook and Google purchased either Twitter and/or FriendFeed, I’d call Google the winner.

    The scenario you outlined is not a strategy I’d risk 10 figures on.

  20. I see what the big deal is. Facebook is hardly hidden from Google.

    site:www.facebook.com

    Brings up few results. Could it be that Google has no idea as to how to judge the importance of a page in Facebook… possibly. This would go a long way to prove the point that Google doesn’t always have the most relevant results.

    If Microsoft pull this one off… then good on them, for now. Here in South Africa Google have something silly like 98% of all of the search market. Want to talk monopoly’s?

  21. Is the answer for everyone to just dump Facebook? Go elsewhere and out in the bright, open web? Like the good old days? (Hmm.. or was that MySpace)

    Someone needs to redux the Epic 2015 video ;)

  22. I can’t search most of Facebook when I’m inside Facebook. At best I can get name of people, but I can’t see their data unless I’m a friend. I don’t see how that is going to change. Pages in Facebook are already open. What exactly would they be able to search that they can’t now?

    I also don’t think Facebook is as cool or cutting edge as it once was. If Microsoft purchased Facebook and Google purchased either Twitter and/or FriendFeed, I’d call Google the winner.

    The scenario you outlined is not a strategy I’d risk 10 figures on.

  23. If that’s all true then surely it’s our job as technically literate professionals to highlight this to any legal body that could veto such mergers. Microsoft/Facebook/Yahoo is not something that will be overlooked by regulators, at least not in the UK/EU where not everyone in politics is on the payroll.

    I see now why you’re championing FriendFeed; good reason. I’ve not looked at FriendFeed myself so I’ll hold my judgement on it until I’ve had a better look.

    R

  24. If that’s all true then surely it’s our job as technically literate professionals to highlight this to any legal body that could veto such mergers. Microsoft/Facebook/Yahoo is not something that will be overlooked by regulators, at least not in the UK/EU where not everyone in politics is on the payroll.

    I see now why you’re championing FriendFeed; good reason. I’ve not looked at FriendFeed myself so I’ll hold my judgement on it until I’ve had a better look.

    R

  25. I honestly think you’re going to far my friend.

    Let’s trust the market and let the web users decide. We’re relatively educated… and when we’re not: there’s a digg post to educate.

    Haven’t you heard the latest news: Microsoft is proposing a joint venture with Yahoo, not a takeover. The bid has been withdrawn for some time now.

    Facebook is choosing to stay closed. I would. It’s in their best interest (relatively).

  26. I honestly think you’re going to far my friend.

    Let’s trust the market and let the web users decide. We’re relatively educated… and when we’re not: there’s a digg post to educate.

    Haven’t you heard the latest news: Microsoft is proposing a joint venture with Yahoo, not a takeover. The bid has been withdrawn for some time now.

    Facebook is choosing to stay closed. I would. It’s in their best interest (relatively).

  27. Don your tinfoil hats in 3…2….1….. NOW!

    Who cares? If apps like FriendFeed can still be created (and they can, since they can impersonate you) then it doesn’t matter.

    This is akin to the “DRM hysteria”. New DRM comes out, new format comes out, and everyone freaks out and shouts and blusters. Then in 3 weeks, some guy in northern Europe comes along, cracks it, and then we all go about our business.

    And even IF the axis of evil of Facebook, MS, and Yahoo can somehow really lock stuff down – then market forces will decide if that’s the good way, or the bad way. If enough people bitch and moan, or more importantly, just stop using the service, then they will be forced to open things up. If I have some content on Facebook that I’m trying to get published, and I can’t search for it on Google, then I’m damn sure not going to put it on Facebook again. I’ll find the next free service that will come along to compete with Facebook. You know, those guys you interview nearly every other day Scoble?

    If the web has proven anything to us, its that the mob will always rule in the end, and if we can’t rule, we’ll build another one. Scoble of ALL people should know that by now. Chicken little antics and twitter freak-outs are a little bit over the top. Get another cup of coffee and calm down. The web will be there tomorrow.

  28. Don your tinfoil hats in 3…2….1….. NOW!

    Who cares? If apps like FriendFeed can still be created (and they can, since they can impersonate you) then it doesn’t matter.

    This is akin to the “DRM hysteria”. New DRM comes out, new format comes out, and everyone freaks out and shouts and blusters. Then in 3 weeks, some guy in northern Europe comes along, cracks it, and then we all go about our business.

    And even IF the axis of evil of Facebook, MS, and Yahoo can somehow really lock stuff down – then market forces will decide if that’s the good way, or the bad way. If enough people bitch and moan, or more importantly, just stop using the service, then they will be forced to open things up. If I have some content on Facebook that I’m trying to get published, and I can’t search for it on Google, then I’m damn sure not going to put it on Facebook again. I’ll find the next free service that will come along to compete with Facebook. You know, those guys you interview nearly every other day Scoble?

    If the web has proven anything to us, its that the mob will always rule in the end, and if we can’t rule, we’ll build another one. Scoble of ALL people should know that by now. Chicken little antics and twitter freak-outs are a little bit over the top. Get another cup of coffee and calm down. The web will be there tomorrow.

  29. For google to break this deal, they just have to buy yahoo or maybe take ownership of Yahoo search. Wont M$ fall face front if that happens?

    Also, lets imagine both the deals happen for M$ alone – wont they be slapped with another EU fine of some sorts just because they are involved in a monopoly of data?

  30. Dave: >Let’s trust the market and let the web users decide.

    FriendFeed is possibly too late. Why? Momentum. People don’t move their photos, their videos, their social graphs, once they are created. That’s why only a few people cared about the Data Portability issue over the weekend. Yeah, smart people care, but there aren’t enough of those who see the long-term consequences.

    Most people TOTALLY don’t agree with you, by the way.

    Well, look at Facebook and what it can lock you out of. Facebook is already the largest repository of photos. Locked out. Largest repository of videos. Locked out. Largest event listing. Locked out. I’m getting tons of comments and messages in Facebook. Locked out. And Facebook has quite an interesting search and application platform. Locked out.

    People already ARE putting data into this locked box and are perfectly happy doing so.

  31. For google to break this deal, they just have to buy yahoo or maybe take ownership of Yahoo search. Wont M$ fall face front if that happens?

    Also, lets imagine both the deals happen for M$ alone – wont they be slapped with another EU fine of some sorts just because they are involved in a monopoly of data?

  32. Dave: >Let’s trust the market and let the web users decide.

    FriendFeed is possibly too late. Why? Momentum. People don’t move their photos, their videos, their social graphs, once they are created. That’s why only a few people cared about the Data Portability issue over the weekend. Yeah, smart people care, but there aren’t enough of those who see the long-term consequences.

    Most people TOTALLY don’t agree with you, by the way.

    Well, look at Facebook and what it can lock you out of. Facebook is already the largest repository of photos. Locked out. Largest repository of videos. Locked out. Largest event listing. Locked out. I’m getting tons of comments and messages in Facebook. Locked out. And Facebook has quite an interesting search and application platform. Locked out.

    People already ARE putting data into this locked box and are perfectly happy doing so.

  33. I don’t think it’s as much Microsoft buying out facebook. But more so their capabilities to lock people out of the internet. THAT is the scary thought. But then we come to the question, is that legal?

  34. I don’t think it’s as much Microsoft buying out facebook. But more so their capabilities to lock people out of the internet. THAT is the scary thought. But then we come to the question, is that legal?

  35. Don’t worry the feature that makes the invite feature very useful on facebook, networks, is being done away with. Which is proof that even the best team can make bone headed decisions.

  36. yeah, and I really want Google to have access to everything.

    I hope that Microsoft buys yahoo search and implement their improved search.

  37. Don’t worry the feature that makes the invite feature very useful on facebook, networks, is being done away with. Which is proof that even the best team can make bone headed decisions.

  38. yeah, and I really want Google to have access to everything.

    I hope that Microsoft buys yahoo search and implement their improved search.

  39. You make an interesting and very valid argument. But I think a very important point has been left out – loyalty (even though Andrew hinted on it with AOL). Facebook can loose their 60m users faster than they got them. If you are honest with yourself, the only really added value on facebook is the ability to re-connect with old friends that you have lost track of over the years.

    Robert: I disagree with your point ‘People don’t move their photos, their videos, their social graphs, once they are created.’ If you look at the generation that uses this feature of facebook excessively, you will see that they are the people that don’t care about yesterday. They will not go back and look at photos for memories…they preferably want to see the photographic evidence of the bad behavior on the same night or by lunchtime the day after. When seen once, they will not go back. Therefore that does not put facebook in a strong position. Kids experience too much too look back.

    To me this all looks like a short term move by Microsoft that they quickly need to convert before the train has left. History proves that Google are significantly faster at adapting to change than Microsoft. Only if Microsoft has really planned this one properly will they have a chance. It might look like Microsoft has been a sleep for the past years…this could be the wake up. Never underestimate a company with that much talent and money in the bank…

  40. You make an interesting and very valid argument. But I think a very important point has been left out – loyalty (even though Andrew hinted on it with AOL). Facebook can loose their 60m users faster than they got them. If you are honest with yourself, the only really added value on facebook is the ability to re-connect with old friends that you have lost track of over the years.

    Robert: I disagree with your point ‘People don’t move their photos, their videos, their social graphs, once they are created.’ If you look at the generation that uses this feature of facebook excessively, you will see that they are the people that don’t care about yesterday. They will not go back and look at photos for memories…they preferably want to see the photographic evidence of the bad behavior on the same night or by lunchtime the day after. When seen once, they will not go back. Therefore that does not put facebook in a strong position. Kids experience too much too look back.

    To me this all looks like a short term move by Microsoft that they quickly need to convert before the train has left. History proves that Google are significantly faster at adapting to change than Microsoft. Only if Microsoft has really planned this one properly will they have a chance. It might look like Microsoft has been a sleep for the past years…this could be the wake up. Never underestimate a company with that much talent and money in the bank…

  41. I didn’t pick up on the ramifications of this strategy until I read this post. Steve Ballmer obviously has far more nous then I have given him credit for, if he actually came up with this play!

    Now that the cat is out of the bag, this should push Yahoos price higher and, if it comes off, bring back the kind of dominance MS used to enjoy with the desktop.

  42. Hmm, Facebook would be a very expensive acquisition for Microsoft. The acquisition would only be worthwhile if the Userbase is stable. That is, people won’t switch from Facebook to other social site at the drop of a hat. People migrated from Myspace pretty quickly, maybe that would happen to Facebook too.

    But then again, the more time you spent on a social site, the less likely you are liked to change because you have gathered more friends on it nad invested more time and information on it and is more dependent on the features on the social site.

    To use a science term, it’s less likely to reach critical mass of numbers of people leaving due to the fact that people are unlikely to leave because nobody else is leaving.

  43. I’m trying to get my friends to use friendfeed. I’m struggling with that, since most of them are blinded by Facebook and don’t get the idea of friendfeed.

    Now I have a good reason!

  44. I didn’t pick up on the ramifications of this strategy until I read this post. Steve Ballmer obviously has far more nous then I have given him credit for, if he actually came up with this play!

    Now that the cat is out of the bag, this should push Yahoos price higher and, if it comes off, bring back the kind of dominance MS used to enjoy with the desktop.

  45. Hmm, Facebook would be a very expensive acquisition for Microsoft. The acquisition would only be worthwhile if the Userbase is stable. That is, people won’t switch from Facebook to other social site at the drop of a hat. People migrated from Myspace pretty quickly, maybe that would happen to Facebook too.

    But then again, the more time you spent on a social site, the less likely you are liked to change because you have gathered more friends on it nad invested more time and information on it and is more dependent on the features on the social site.

    To use a science term, it’s less likely to reach critical mass of numbers of people leaving due to the fact that people are unlikely to leave because nobody else is leaving.

  46. I’m trying to get my friends to use friendfeed. I’m struggling with that, since most of them are blinded by Facebook and don’t get the idea of friendfeed.

    Now I have a good reason!

  47. Why exactly is this a bad thing? It’s a long time since the bright early days of the old Web when everything was sweet and inncoent. The modern Web resembles Dark-Ages Europe: vestiges of a glorious past but you’re only safe from the roaming Vandal hordes inside great big walled cities.

    I for one would be happy to be involved in a closed MS-Facebook, venturing out into the open Web only when I have to. As a developer I know how dangerous the Web can be these days – I hate to think of all the poor newbies and grandmas who are just phishing-bait.

  48. Why exactly is this a bad thing? It’s a long time since the bright early days of the old Web when everything was sweet and inncoent. The modern Web resembles Dark-Ages Europe: vestiges of a glorious past but you’re only safe from the roaming Vandal hordes inside great big walled cities.

    I for one would be happy to be involved in a closed MS-Facebook, venturing out into the open Web only when I have to. As a developer I know how dangerous the Web can be these days – I hate to think of all the poor newbies and grandmas who are just phishing-bait.

  49. If this is infact the play by MS (I Highly doubt they will be that stupid) it would be a huge mistake, Though as i said i doubt they would be that stupid to do something like that. They tried to dominate the net and apply standards with IE etc… they lost they must have learnt some lessons.

    I doubt MS could even afford both yahoo & facebook without putting itself at seriously in DEBT, and MS is notoriously stingy and frugal with their cash.

    So no, i dont buy that its a fight for the internet. In the unlikely chance that MS is going for this strategy, they will loose and we may see the end of them.

  50. If this is infact the play by MS (I Highly doubt they will be that stupid) it would be a huge mistake, Though as i said i doubt they would be that stupid to do something like that. They tried to dominate the net and apply standards with IE etc… they lost they must have learnt some lessons.

    I doubt MS could even afford both yahoo & facebook without putting itself at seriously in DEBT, and MS is notoriously stingy and frugal with their cash.

    So no, i dont buy that its a fight for the internet. In the unlikely chance that MS is going for this strategy, they will loose and we may see the end of them.

  51. I don’t think this is as important as you’re making it out to be. Especially if this goes through and it’s made public that anything in Facebook will not be googleable….people will choose what they put in facebook, and what they want available for public search. Not that big a deal. Facebook isn’t that important in the overall scheme of things, it really isn’t. There may be 60 million registered users, but I’d guess only a fraction of them really spend time there. I’m on the web constantly, have a Facebook account, but rarely go there, as it’s so annoying with all the quizzes and silly applications. Just about everyone I know feels the same.

    I don’t think it’s really anything to get that worked up over.

  52. I don’t think this is as important as you’re making it out to be. Especially if this goes through and it’s made public that anything in Facebook will not be googleable….people will choose what they put in facebook, and what they want available for public search. Not that big a deal. Facebook isn’t that important in the overall scheme of things, it really isn’t. There may be 60 million registered users, but I’d guess only a fraction of them really spend time there. I’m on the web constantly, have a Facebook account, but rarely go there, as it’s so annoying with all the quizzes and silly applications. Just about everyone I know feels the same.

    I don’t think it’s really anything to get that worked up over.

  53. The thing is, by locking out parts of the Web, Microsoft will force people to leave. Nobody is forced to be on Facebook. It’s like hotmail. I dumped my hotmail account when gmail appeared. People will turn to something else, because noone likes to be locked.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this!

  54. The thing is, by locking out parts of the Web, Microsoft will force people to leave. Nobody is forced to be on Facebook. It’s like hotmail. I dumped my hotmail account when gmail appeared. People will turn to something else, because noone likes to be locked.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this!

  55. Control seems to be the behavior of the moment, or should we say has been, for the BIG to control the Little and the battle rages.

    Comcast move on Plaxco, Wi Fi, etc is a convergence of control but like all the BIG the missing element is trust thus the chasm of the ages. see http://www.relationship-economy.com post this morning.

  56. Control seems to be the behavior of the moment, or should we say has been, for the BIG to control the Little and the battle rages.

    Comcast move on Plaxco, Wi Fi, etc is a convergence of control but like all the BIG the missing element is trust thus the chasm of the ages. see http://www.relationship-economy.com post this morning.

  57. I think you miss one thing. The information in Facebook is mostly a FLOW, and that flow can relatively easily be shifted someplace else. Flow of pics, videos and events. Noone moved their collection of home videos or photo albums onto Facebook.

    But, interesting times indeed.

  58. Morten: if you think no one has their entire photo and video collections on Facebook you are TOTALLY misinformed. Sorry, go back and do some homework.

  59. I think you miss one thing. The information in Facebook is mostly a FLOW, and that flow can relatively easily be shifted someplace else. Flow of pics, videos and events. Noone moved their collection of home videos or photo albums onto Facebook.

    But, interesting times indeed.

  60. Morten: if you think no one has their entire photo and video collections on Facebook you are TOTALLY misinformed. Sorry, go back and do some homework.

  61. Sorry Robert, I think that’s BS. MSFT realise that keeping stuff closed is going to make them too many enemies in the long run and gaining mindshare on the web is most definitely a popularity contest (which they are losing – handsomely). Keeping Facebook closed will be detrimental in the long run.

    Plus, argubly MSFT are more open than anyone else right now (not my words – they’re Marc Canter’s) so keeping Facebook closed would be incontrast to their current policies.

    Oh, and as someone pointed out previously FB isn’t as big outside the states as much as it is inside so even if this didn’t happen its not the huge slice of the internet that you seem to think it is.

    -Jamie

  62. MS should by Facebook and lose tons of money. Hopefully MS will suffer from it and go away in ten years.

    Facebook is not here to stay as big player.

  63. Sorry Robert, I think that’s BS. MSFT realise that keeping stuff closed is going to make them too many enemies in the long run and gaining mindshare on the web is most definitely a popularity contest (which they are losing – handsomely). Keeping Facebook closed will be detrimental in the long run.

    Plus, argubly MSFT are more open than anyone else right now (not my words – they’re Marc Canter’s) so keeping Facebook closed would be incontrast to their current policies.

    Oh, and as someone pointed out previously FB isn’t as big outside the states as much as it is inside so even if this didn’t happen its not the huge slice of the internet that you seem to think it is.

    -Jamie

  64. MS should by Facebook and lose tons of money. Hopefully MS will suffer from it and go away in ten years.

    Facebook is not here to stay as big player.

  65. biggest repository of videos and photo on the Internet

    It doesn’t matter. The point is content content content. I have never seen anyone point to a Facebook video when passing a URL, even on Digg. It’s always YouTube or sometimes Break.com.

    The point is, that with a social network, you only care as far as your circle of friends. With something more loosely tied, like YouTube, you are more likely to care about that stranger’s content in that non-social setting.

  66. biggest repository of videos and photo on the Internet

    It doesn’t matter. The point is content content content. I have never seen anyone point to a Facebook video when passing a URL, even on Digg. It’s always YouTube or sometimes Break.com.

    The point is, that with a social network, you only care as far as your circle of friends. With something more loosely tied, like YouTube, you are more likely to care about that stranger’s content in that non-social setting.

  67. Isn’t this a problem right now? If both google and yahoo search can’t ‘see’ facebook info then you’re effectively explaining a problem that doesn’t exist at the moment.

    The general web searchers currently don’t see this information.

    If it’s something we don’t have in our search results today, then i’d suggest this is a non-issue. It would take an incredible marketing push to get people to shift from google to yahoo search just so we could see facebook data, and considering most people wouldn’t know any better then i see this as a problem.

  68. Isn’t this a problem right now? If both google and yahoo search can’t ‘see’ facebook info then you’re effectively explaining a problem that doesn’t exist at the moment.

    The general web searchers currently don’t see this information.

    If it’s something we don’t have in our search results today, then i’d suggest this is a non-issue. It would take an incredible marketing push to get people to shift from google to yahoo search just so we could see facebook data, and considering most people wouldn’t know any better then i see this as a problem.

  69. And actually, your point about not finding LeWeb in a search is silly when the first page of results brought up Upcoming and LeWeb3.com. Remember those non-social network URLs that the rest of the internet is composed of? The ones without the flash music player and blinding, blinking graphics? Yes, I know that Facebook is exponentially less annoying than MySpace, but I feel that social networks have a limited power and you are making them seem to be so much bigger. Sort of reminiscent of the dot-com bubble days.

  70. And actually, your point about not finding LeWeb in a search is silly when the first page of results brought up Upcoming and LeWeb3.com. Remember those non-social network URLs that the rest of the internet is composed of? The ones without the flash music player and blinding, blinking graphics? Yes, I know that Facebook is exponentially less annoying than MySpace, but I feel that social networks have a limited power and you are making them seem to be so much bigger. Sort of reminiscent of the dot-com bubble days.

  71. “Can the open public Web fight back? Yes. It’s called FriendFeed. Notice that FriendFeed replaces almost all of Facebook’s killer features with open ones that are open to Google’s search.”

    No, it has virtually none of the features that made Facebook explode. Remember when Facebook took off? When it allowed people to build new applications. FriendFeed doesn’t do that. Neither does FriendFeed have groups, which are also a major part of Facebook. Life streaming, which is what FF does, is only a relatively minor part of Facebook.

    That’s not to say “FriendFeed is bad and FaceBook is great”, but the two things really are apples and oranges.

  72. “Can the open public Web fight back? Yes. It’s called FriendFeed. Notice that FriendFeed replaces almost all of Facebook’s killer features with open ones that are open to Google’s search.”

    No, it has virtually none of the features that made Facebook explode. Remember when Facebook took off? When it allowed people to build new applications. FriendFeed doesn’t do that. Neither does FriendFeed have groups, which are also a major part of Facebook. Life streaming, which is what FF does, is only a relatively minor part of Facebook.

    That’s not to say “FriendFeed is bad and FaceBook is great”, but the two things really are apples and oranges.

  73. Yes, FriendFeed is behind Facebook and has seven employees vs. 500 or so for Facebook. It’s an unfair fight, actually. If this deal happens watch FriendFeed get a ton of resources from Google and possibly even get purchased back in to build out a massive team to compete.

  74. WOW, this stuff scares the crap out of me! This sounds like a serious attempt by M$ to dominate and monopolize the web… yikes! Everybody run and protest! Yes, another great reason to LOVE FriendFeed and dump Facebook (BTW, why the heck did FB kick you off of their site?!)

    M$ needs to re-invent itself badly, so the Facebook and/or the Yahoo! Search purchases will be very important in defining M$ future. The Facebook deal would give M$ a strong leap forward in the Social Media space, where they have zero market presence, impact or control.

    However, these possible deals would spell trouble for everybody that cares at all about privacy on the web. I suppose Social Media sites by nature are more “open” and “social”, but the mere thought of M$ buying Facebook makes me very nervous as an end-user. Same goes for M$ buying Yahoo Search. I’ve lost trust in M$, so these possible acquisitions are making the hair on my neck stand up and freak out!

    The revenue potential for M$ is incredibly provocative, so they must be compelled to make a sizable purchase of either or both Facebook or Yahoo! Search. Personally, if I was M$, I’d buy BOTH asap. my 2 cents!

    Thank you for bringing us the news and providing such great insight into it REALLY means to the everyday user! Great analysis! :-)

  75. Scoble -> People already ARE putting data into this locked box and are perfectly happy doing so.

    So? First, if people are happy, then where are YOU to decide what’s best for them?

    Second, I’m not one of “those” people. So, not everyone has drunk the social kool-aid. While I know that there are approximately 16 bajillion million people on Facebook now days, you are sort of in an echo chamber here. Very, very, very many people could really care less.

    Third, a lot of people bought DRM’ed music too. Then they tried to copy the music to some unsupported player or another PC and got stuck. This raised their awareness of DRM, and they shifted their music buying. Now a lot of studios, Amazon, and Apple are all offering at least some music without DRM. The market spoke, and it changed – even when the market seemed inevitable.

    So, in other words – its not the end of the world. The masses will either like it, or hate it, whenever it is (if ever) they choose to care about it. Once they care about it and it doesn’t provide, the market changes, the rules are reset, and everyone moves on to the next big thing.

  76. Yes, FriendFeed is behind Facebook and has seven employees vs. 500 or so for Facebook. It’s an unfair fight, actually. If this deal happens watch FriendFeed get a ton of resources from Google and possibly even get purchased back in to build out a massive team to compete.

  77. WOW, this stuff scares the crap out of me! This sounds like a serious attempt by M$ to dominate and monopolize the web… yikes! Everybody run and protest! Yes, another great reason to LOVE FriendFeed and dump Facebook (BTW, why the heck did FB kick you off of their site?!)

    M$ needs to re-invent itself badly, so the Facebook and/or the Yahoo! Search purchases will be very important in defining M$ future. The Facebook deal would give M$ a strong leap forward in the Social Media space, where they have zero market presence, impact or control.

    However, these possible deals would spell trouble for everybody that cares at all about privacy on the web. I suppose Social Media sites by nature are more “open” and “social”, but the mere thought of M$ buying Facebook makes me very nervous as an end-user. Same goes for M$ buying Yahoo Search. I’ve lost trust in M$, so these possible acquisitions are making the hair on my neck stand up and freak out!

    The revenue potential for M$ is incredibly provocative, so they must be compelled to make a sizable purchase of either or both Facebook or Yahoo! Search. Personally, if I was M$, I’d buy BOTH asap. my 2 cents!

    Thank you for bringing us the news and providing such great insight into it REALLY means to the everyday user! Great analysis! :-)

  78. Scoble -> People already ARE putting data into this locked box and are perfectly happy doing so.

    So? First, if people are happy, then where are YOU to decide what’s best for them?

    Second, I’m not one of “those” people. So, not everyone has drunk the social kool-aid. While I know that there are approximately 16 bajillion million people on Facebook now days, you are sort of in an echo chamber here. Very, very, very many people could really care less.

    Third, a lot of people bought DRM’ed music too. Then they tried to copy the music to some unsupported player or another PC and got stuck. This raised their awareness of DRM, and they shifted their music buying. Now a lot of studios, Amazon, and Apple are all offering at least some music without DRM. The market spoke, and it changed – even when the market seemed inevitable.

    So, in other words – its not the end of the world. The masses will either like it, or hate it, whenever it is (if ever) they choose to care about it. Once they care about it and it doesn’t provide, the market changes, the rules are reset, and everyone moves on to the next big thing.

  79. @Scoble
    I don’t see the problem that seriously, although I agree that Facebook plus Yahoo Search would be a better fit than the whole Yahoo (which competes with MSN heavily).
    Facebook is just one site – there are others. Go to Europe and you see Facebook not playing a huge role. We have dozens of regional social networks that are open. I work for one myself, and we’re using Google as a way to gain traffic, knowing that Facebook and others don’t do that.
    Also, Microsoft won’t be able to use Facebook’s data in a new Microhoo search engine just like they want – users would go nuts.

    Microsoft would profit from Facebook most if they included web search and content into Facebook – including Facebook into search will be very difficult.
    Like Calacanis said – you can make tons of money with content and search, but it’s very difficult to monetize social traffic. Social traffic can create a lot of content- and search-traffic, though.
    That’s why Facebook would be a great fit for Microsoft.

    @Robert (not Scoble)
    A search for site:www.facebook.com brings up 700.000 results. That’s about 1% of Facebook’s members, without any of the photos, events and videos. Facebook is a big silo, showing me 1 mill of their data on Google won’t change that.
    Go home and do your homework.

  80. @Scoble
    I don’t see the problem that seriously, although I agree that Facebook plus Yahoo Search would be a better fit than the whole Yahoo (which competes with MSN heavily).
    Facebook is just one site – there are others. Go to Europe and you see Facebook not playing a huge role. We have dozens of regional social networks that are open. I work for one myself, and we’re using Google as a way to gain traffic, knowing that Facebook and others don’t do that.
    Also, Microsoft won’t be able to use Facebook’s data in a new Microhoo search engine just like they want – users would go nuts.

    Microsoft would profit from Facebook most if they included web search and content into Facebook – including Facebook into search will be very difficult.
    Like Calacanis said – you can make tons of money with content and search, but it’s very difficult to monetize social traffic. Social traffic can create a lot of content- and search-traffic, though.
    That’s why Facebook would be a great fit for Microsoft.

    @Robert (not Scoble)
    A search for site:www.facebook.com brings up 700.000 results. That’s about 1% of Facebook’s members, without any of the photos, events and videos. Facebook is a big silo, showing me 1 mill of their data on Google won’t change that.
    Go home and do your homework.

  81. You are hotlinking to XKCD without a mention of his site? At least have the decency to put up a link to his site maybe? Lame Scoble….

  82. You are hotlinking to XKCD without a mention of his site? At least have the decency to put up a link to his site maybe? Lame Scoble….

  83. Jens said: Robert: I disagree with your point ‘People don’t move their photos, their videos, their social graphs, once they are created.’ If you look at the generation that uses this feature of facebook excessively, you will see that they are the people that don’t care about yesterday.

    Yeah, and does anyone remember something called “MySpace?”

  84. Jens said: Robert: I disagree with your point ‘People don’t move their photos, their videos, their social graphs, once they are created.’ If you look at the generation that uses this feature of facebook excessively, you will see that they are the people that don’t care about yesterday.

    Yeah, and does anyone remember something called “MySpace?”

  85. Dave: yeah, I was at a MySpace concert a few weeks ago with thousands of people. People DO still care about MySpace, but it has definitely lost leadership role to Facebook.

  86. Dave: yeah, I was at a MySpace concert a few weeks ago with thousands of people. People DO still care about MySpace, but it has definitely lost leadership role to Facebook.

  87. Ernie said: Yes, I know that Facebook is exponentially less annoying than MySpace, but I feel that social networks have a limited power and you are making them seem to be so much bigger. Sort of reminiscent of the dot-com bubble days.

    No, I think its more that Scoble is too much of a user of these networks to react appropriately. In other words “he’s too close to the subject.” I can sort of understand his freak out if it were all of MY data that was at stake, and I was building my livelihood off of constant self promotion. (Which is fine, that’s Scoble’s job.) But, for the 99.999% of the rest of us in the world, this really doesn’t matter.

    But, that’s why he blogged this, and is reading the responses. He gets instant feedback and hopefully understands a different perspective on it. Viva la social!

  88. Ernie said: Yes, I know that Facebook is exponentially less annoying than MySpace, but I feel that social networks have a limited power and you are making them seem to be so much bigger. Sort of reminiscent of the dot-com bubble days.

    No, I think its more that Scoble is too much of a user of these networks to react appropriately. In other words “he’s too close to the subject.” I can sort of understand his freak out if it were all of MY data that was at stake, and I was building my livelihood off of constant self promotion. (Which is fine, that’s Scoble’s job.) But, for the 99.999% of the rest of us in the world, this really doesn’t matter.

    But, that’s why he blogged this, and is reading the responses. He gets instant feedback and hopefully understands a different perspective on it. Viva la social!

  89. your link is wrong btw, it’s xkcd.com not xckd.com, fortunately he was smart enough to buy xckd.com also…. sigh….

  90. your link is wrong btw, it’s xkcd.com not xckd.com, fortunately he was smart enough to buy xckd.com also…. sigh….

  91. @Jens Buch & Scoble
    MySpace has NOT lost leadership. They’re still more used, make more money, more profits (even if they didn’t reach their goals). Facebook gets more hype, though.
    No or just very little MySpace-users left for Facebook, though. MySpace simply serves a different audience than Facebook.
    So no, MySpace is not evidence that users switch sites if something better comes along. MySpace is the very evidence that people tend to use crappy websites, if only their friends use it, too.

  92. Scoble: People DO still care about MySpace, but it has definitely lost leadership role to Facebook.

    That’s my point exactly. In another 3-5 years, Facebook will either be a “utility” like Google, or Amazon, or some sort of defacto standard, because they did what people want; or MySuperHappyFunPlace.com will be the new “standard” and we’ll all be bitching about how THEY don’t get social either. The web spins round and round… and there are NEVER any absolutes here.

  93. @Jens Buch & Scoble
    MySpace has NOT lost leadership. They’re still more used, make more money, more profits (even if they didn’t reach their goals). Facebook gets more hype, though.
    No or just very little MySpace-users left for Facebook, though. MySpace simply serves a different audience than Facebook.
    So no, MySpace is not evidence that users switch sites if something better comes along. MySpace is the very evidence that people tend to use crappy websites, if only their friends use it, too.

  94. Scoble: People DO still care about MySpace, but it has definitely lost leadership role to Facebook.

    That’s my point exactly. In another 3-5 years, Facebook will either be a “utility” like Google, or Amazon, or some sort of defacto standard, because they did what people want; or MySuperHappyFunPlace.com will be the new “standard” and we’ll all be bitching about how THEY don’t get social either. The web spins round and round… and there are NEVER any absolutes here.

  95. Interesting ideas. I kind of followed the “le web 08″ argument, until i realised that facebook is a social network, in which i would want my friends to know what i’m doing, but i wouldn’t necessarily want the whole world to know. Surely if all events became public information you might get 10,000 people turning up for a house party somewhere. Also its not like all of facebook is blocked from search engines – for example all of the causes pages are visible as are some of the comments on events walls.
    And when you think about it, would you really expect any website that requires a username and password to access it, have its information publically available to search engines. I do a lot of fell running and am a member of fellrunning.org which has listing of all this years races, but i wouldn’t expect the details to show up in google. Are we saying because facebook is huge that they should share all of our data…or am i missing the point?

  96. Very good point Ticau. Credit where credit is due.

    If Microsoft wants to build a bigger badder silo as Robert suggests, they will lose. People don’t want lock-in. They want features and freedom. If what MS gives them doesn’t work for them, a workaround will be constructed or people will vote with their feet. Same for Google or anyone else.

    As far as FB is concerned, while it may be useful to millions of Robert’s friends, it has always seemed useless to me. They can have all my Funwall comments and stupid spammish invitations. Lock it all up and take it away. You’d be doing me a favour.

  97. Interesting ideas. I kind of followed the “le web 08″ argument, until i realised that facebook is a social network, in which i would want my friends to know what i’m doing, but i wouldn’t necessarily want the whole world to know. Surely if all events became public information you might get 10,000 people turning up for a house party somewhere. Also its not like all of facebook is blocked from search engines – for example all of the causes pages are visible as are some of the comments on events walls.
    And when you think about it, would you really expect any website that requires a username and password to access it, have its information publically available to search engines. I do a lot of fell running and am a member of fellrunning.org which has listing of all this years races, but i wouldn’t expect the details to show up in google. Are we saying because facebook is huge that they should share all of our data…or am i missing the point?

  98. Very good point Ticau. Credit where credit is due.

    If Microsoft wants to build a bigger badder silo as Robert suggests, they will lose. People don’t want lock-in. They want features and freedom. If what MS gives them doesn’t work for them, a workaround will be constructed or people will vote with their feet. Same for Google or anyone else.

    As far as FB is concerned, while it may be useful to millions of Robert’s friends, it has always seemed useless to me. They can have all my Funwall comments and stupid spammish invitations. Lock it all up and take it away. You’d be doing me a favour.

  99. “If this deal happens watch FriendFeed get a ton of resources from Google and possibly even get purchased back in to build out a massive team to compete.”

    Google already has a product which could be used as a basis to build something that does everything FriendFeed does, in the shape of Jaiku – and it already (now) runs on Google’s App Engine platform. Given that, I doubt that they’d bother buying FF.

  100. “If this deal happens watch FriendFeed get a ton of resources from Google and possibly even get purchased back in to build out a massive team to compete.”

    Google already has a product which could be used as a basis to build something that does everything FriendFeed does, in the shape of Jaiku – and it already (now) runs on Google’s App Engine platform. Given that, I doubt that they’d bother buying FF.

  101. Sebastian: I don’t think we can say ‘leave’. I think many users have profiles on both. Question is which one they use primarily (thus spend most time on).
    In terms of marketing, I believe facebook is more powerful. The average facebook user has more spending power than the average myspace user. But now we are moving of the subject.

  102. Sebastian: I don’t think we can say ‘leave’. I think many users have profiles on both. Question is which one they use primarily (thus spend most time on).
    In terms of marketing, I believe facebook is more powerful. The average facebook user has more spending power than the average myspace user. But now we are moving of the subject.

  103. Scary stories about walled gardens don’t work anymore. Back in the days of AOL, the walled garden was a problem because it was something forced on users who wanted access to other features. Facebook is completely different… the wall *is* a feature, not an imposition.

    I’m not trying to pick on you, Robert, but this is your issue, not ours. You want to use services like Facebook as marketing tools that will allow you to turn “friends” into perceived prestige and influence… “hey, LargeCo, give me money or access, because I have the attention of all these people!” The Wall gets in the way of you executing your career plans.

    But for the rest of us, Facebook is just a place to hang out and connect with people. Keeping the world out is exactly what we want.

  104. Holy traffic generating post!

    This notion that it’s somehow scary to force people to sign up to a site before allowing them to search / interact with it – so what? It’s up to Microsoft if they want to explore this high risk strategy. Publishers have been doing it for years. If that content is so compelling that it gets people to sign up, then well done. If it’s not, people will leave.

    And remember – Facebook has always been walled. It’s a business not a chairty, and it needs to sign users up to improve its advertising offer to brand owners. If you want searcheable open web content, why not go to Wikipedia? But even they need donations / need to make money.

    I think they’ll all go this way. What will be the only truly free / public web community in years to come? The BBC website.

  105. I agree with you to the extent that I would hate it if Microsoft bought Facebook, and it would probably lead to me spending even less time there (I already don’t post photos/videos there, unless it’s just a few that I specifically want to share with Facebook friends, and crosspost from Flickr, etc). On the other hand, I think what a lot of people like about Facebook is that it IS closed off from Google. I’m with you, I’m for data portability and openness, but that’s not a mainstream position yet. In fact, I had a friend e-mail me out of concern a few weeks ago when one of my blog posts was the first Google search results for a query she made – she was genuinely creeped out at the idea and definitely wouldn’t have wanted one of her posts to be high in Google results. Many other people I know are much more concerned with privacy than portability (I try to convince them that nothing on the web is safely private, but oh well).

    I think a closed-off Facebook/Microsoft is not a good thing, but a lot of Facebook’s users wouldn’t think it was a big deal at all. (Of course, the response is that they wouldn’t care until they wanted to move elsewhere, but if Microsoft/Facebook kept up the things they like about Facebook – perceived privacy and security from web-wide Google searches – why would they?)

  106. Scary stories about walled gardens don’t work anymore. Back in the days of AOL, the walled garden was a problem because it was something forced on users who wanted access to other features. Facebook is completely different… the wall *is* a feature, not an imposition.

    I’m not trying to pick on you, Robert, but this is your issue, not ours. You want to use services like Facebook as marketing tools that will allow you to turn “friends” into perceived prestige and influence… “hey, LargeCo, give me money or access, because I have the attention of all these people!” The Wall gets in the way of you executing your career plans.

    But for the rest of us, Facebook is just a place to hang out and connect with people. Keeping the world out is exactly what we want.

  107. Holy traffic generating post!

    This notion that it’s somehow scary to force people to sign up to a site before allowing them to search / interact with it – so what? It’s up to Microsoft if they want to explore this high risk strategy. Publishers have been doing it for years. If that content is so compelling that it gets people to sign up, then well done. If it’s not, people will leave.

    And remember – Facebook has always been walled. It’s a business not a chairty, and it needs to sign users up to improve its advertising offer to brand owners. If you want searcheable open web content, why not go to Wikipedia? But even they need donations / need to make money.

    I think they’ll all go this way. What will be the only truly free / public web community in years to come? The BBC website.

  108. I agree with you to the extent that I would hate it if Microsoft bought Facebook, and it would probably lead to me spending even less time there (I already don’t post photos/videos there, unless it’s just a few that I specifically want to share with Facebook friends, and crosspost from Flickr, etc). On the other hand, I think what a lot of people like about Facebook is that it IS closed off from Google. I’m with you, I’m for data portability and openness, but that’s not a mainstream position yet. In fact, I had a friend e-mail me out of concern a few weeks ago when one of my blog posts was the first Google search results for a query she made – she was genuinely creeped out at the idea and definitely wouldn’t have wanted one of her posts to be high in Google results. Many other people I know are much more concerned with privacy than portability (I try to convince them that nothing on the web is safely private, but oh well).

    I think a closed-off Facebook/Microsoft is not a good thing, but a lot of Facebook’s users wouldn’t think it was a big deal at all. (Of course, the response is that they wouldn’t care until they wanted to move elsewhere, but if Microsoft/Facebook kept up the things they like about Facebook – perceived privacy and security from web-wide Google searches – why would they?)

  109. @Jens Buch
    If Facebook can be more powerful for marketing, how comes that MySpace is the company that makes one deal after the other with big brands? Every big brand is using MySpace to advertise their stuff. I know several people (not big brands, just normal people) who use MySpace for promotion, none who use Facebook.

  110. …speaking as a .NET-head, that would be one SWEET setup. Speaking as an advocate for openness, transparency, portability and competition, however, I’d have to note some concerns.

  111. @Jens Buch
    If Facebook can be more powerful for marketing, how comes that MySpace is the company that makes one deal after the other with big brands? Every big brand is using MySpace to advertise their stuff. I know several people (not big brands, just normal people) who use MySpace for promotion, none who use Facebook.

  112. …speaking as a .NET-head, that would be one SWEET setup. Speaking as an advocate for openness, transparency, portability and competition, however, I’d have to note some concerns.

  113. I dont think facebook is as important amongst the general sheep throwing population as your story might suggest.

    A lot of people are bored with it, don’t get it, or understand how it can be really beneficial. I have observed people joining, then there friends, and then friends of friends however it doesnt reach critical mass in a good way. It peters out once they get bored of throwing sheep at each other (and other such vacuous activities).

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  114. I dont think facebook is as important amongst the general sheep throwing population as your story might suggest.

    A lot of people are bored with it, don’t get it, or understand how it can be really beneficial. I have observed people joining, then there friends, and then friends of friends however it doesnt reach critical mass in a good way. It peters out once they get bored of throwing sheep at each other (and other such vacuous activities).

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  115. Scoble, you’ve crossed the line into crackpot land. Careful or those Oompa Loompas will get you!

    Seriously, this idea is so crazy, I can’t believe you’ve managed to find enough people to buy this to stir up the hornets nest this way. I’d be interested in how this is helping your bottom line, because it’s obvious that’s what you’re up to.

    The majority of the web users don’t use Facebook. Hell, most of them have never even heard of it. Microsoft isn’t so stupid as to try and buy it out in order to attempt some sort of vendor lock in. The chances of that working are slim and none, and slim didn’t come to town. The attempt would be a PR disaster on a scale we’ve never seen in this industry… and Microsoft is smart enough to know that.

  116. Scoble, you’ve crossed the line into crackpot land. Careful or those Oompa Loompas will get you!

    Seriously, this idea is so crazy, I can’t believe you’ve managed to find enough people to buy this to stir up the hornets nest this way. I’d be interested in how this is helping your bottom line, because it’s obvious that’s what you’re up to.

    The majority of the web users don’t use Facebook. Hell, most of them have never even heard of it. Microsoft isn’t so stupid as to try and buy it out in order to attempt some sort of vendor lock in. The chances of that working are slim and none, and slim didn’t come to town. The attempt would be a PR disaster on a scale we’ve never seen in this industry… and Microsoft is smart enough to know that.

  117. Very popular post already (as it should be). The implications of these issues are huge. (I also like the cartoon). The most important fact from the above, I believe, is that there is a huge chasm between what Microsoft would like to be able to do, and what it will in fact be perhaps able to do.

    In the past it was regulators that kept Microsoft in check, because competitors were trounced. Recently, however, Yahoo! put the kibbutz on a Microsoft proposed megamerger (purchase), despite major outcry and pressure. Similary, Microsoft can’t just buy Facebook because it wants to. If Facebook decides that it does wish to sell (rather than staying independent and going public route) Microsoft would have a mega mega competitor for the purchase with Google (and secondarily also Yahoo). I’m not at all sure that Microsoft would win that.

    Microsoft has made many purchases (including a relatively recent one for $6 billion) but that does not necessarily alter the landscape as well. Markets are so large, so multifacted etc., and innovation and catch up occurs so quickly, that gaining and keeping a competitive advantage is so difficult.

    Also, users are more powerful, making companies less so. The Data Portabiliy issue is an interesting one. I do not agree with Arrington (expressed on The Gillmor Gang etc.) that key influencers/early adopters (namely Arrington and those like him) can force the companies to be fully open. Users have power but they don’t have all the power. Companies retain some power, and they won’t be totally dictated to (they’ll appease and negotiate, but make sure that they still retain some competitive advantages etc. — the smart and able ones anyway).

    And it should be that way — a balance I believe. Companies are not inherently evil. They employ people. They offer services. That is the heart of capitalism. But they also require – like governments or politicians or any souce of power – checks on their activities.

  118. Very popular post already (as it should be). The implications of these issues are huge. (I also like the cartoon). The most important fact from the above, I believe, is that there is a huge chasm between what Microsoft would like to be able to do, and what it will in fact be perhaps able to do.

    In the past it was regulators that kept Microsoft in check, because competitors were trounced. Recently, however, Yahoo! put the kibbutz on a Microsoft proposed megamerger (purchase), despite major outcry and pressure. Similary, Microsoft can’t just buy Facebook because it wants to. If Facebook decides that it does wish to sell (rather than staying independent and going public route) Microsoft would have a mega mega competitor for the purchase with Google (and secondarily also Yahoo). I’m not at all sure that Microsoft would win that.

    Microsoft has made many purchases (including a relatively recent one for $6 billion) but that does not necessarily alter the landscape as well. Markets are so large, so multifacted etc., and innovation and catch up occurs so quickly, that gaining and keeping a competitive advantage is so difficult.

    Also, users are more powerful, making companies less so. The Data Portabiliy issue is an interesting one. I do not agree with Arrington (expressed on The Gillmor Gang etc.) that key influencers/early adopters (namely Arrington and those like him) can force the companies to be fully open. Users have power but they don’t have all the power. Companies retain some power, and they won’t be totally dictated to (they’ll appease and negotiate, but make sure that they still retain some competitive advantages etc. — the smart and able ones anyway).

    And it should be that way — a balance I believe. Companies are not inherently evil. They employ people. They offer services. That is the heart of capitalism. But they also require – like governments or politicians or any souce of power – checks on their activities.

  119. I completely agree with everyone who thinks Facebook importacne is overrated. It’s a very specific group of people who depend on it. You’re just at the centre of that group and it looks like you can’t step beyond that. The Le Web 08 experiment doesn’t prove anything either. This is the same group of peolpe again.
    I don’t have anything against Facebook. I tried to embrace it but what’s the point if my social circle didn’t? Have stick to email and I’m happy with that. Should it disappear of the face of the Earth tomorrow it would take me a good while to notice.
    We’ll all be fine. There’s more to the web than one blueish website.

  120. I completely agree with everyone who thinks Facebook importacne is overrated. It’s a very specific group of people who depend on it. You’re just at the centre of that group and it looks like you can’t step beyond that. The Le Web 08 experiment doesn’t prove anything either. This is the same group of peolpe again.
    I don’t have anything against Facebook. I tried to embrace it but what’s the point if my social circle didn’t? Have stick to email and I’m happy with that. Should it disappear of the face of the Earth tomorrow it would take me a good while to notice.
    We’ll all be fine. There’s more to the web than one blueish website.

  121. Who cares if everyone has their photos and videos inside of Facebook? What does that have to do with profitable web search?

    And if this is Microsoft’s play to crush Google, again how does one dominate web search by buying up a popular service and keeping it out of web search results?

    The fact that a growing web service is not indexed by Google is certainly worth noting, but buying it up and keeping it closed doesn’t look like a winning strategy for winning in web search to me. What am I missing?

  122. Who cares if everyone has their photos and videos inside of Facebook? What does that have to do with profitable web search?

    And if this is Microsoft’s play to crush Google, again how does one dominate web search by buying up a popular service and keeping it out of web search results?

    The fact that a growing web service is not indexed by Google is certainly worth noting, but buying it up and keeping it closed doesn’t look like a winning strategy for winning in web search to me. What am I missing?

  123. You’re example first of all is plain wrong… Loic is catering to his demographic on facebook, Imagine what would have been the effect when upcoming.org would have had a twitter link….. He would probably have had even more hits than the one of facebook….

    Loic knows that his demographic is on facebook, if he would have put up a listing for a plain old cuckoo clock how would the result have been….

    So MS will buy search, what will they get, they will only get an enhancement on some markets and internationally neither MS or Yahoo search matter a lot…

    To be honest, if ms search start showing the data where Google can’t how long do you think before someone has written a screen scraper to fetch the data out of Microsofts search results….

    Nah, if this happens, it’s plain old stupidity which makes no business sense at all.

  124. You’re example first of all is plain wrong… Loic is catering to his demographic on facebook, Imagine what would have been the effect when upcoming.org would have had a twitter link….. He would probably have had even more hits than the one of facebook….

    Loic knows that his demographic is on facebook, if he would have put up a listing for a plain old cuckoo clock how would the result have been….

    So MS will buy search, what will they get, they will only get an enhancement on some markets and internationally neither MS or Yahoo search matter a lot…

    To be honest, if ms search start showing the data where Google can’t how long do you think before someone has written a screen scraper to fetch the data out of Microsofts search results….

    Nah, if this happens, it’s plain old stupidity which makes no business sense at all.

  125. P.S. If this really is their strategy, it will be the best thing that ever happened to the Open Web! Mark my works.

    As another poster pointed out, there are a billion people on the web and 90M on facebook.

  126. P.S. If this really is their strategy, it will be the best thing that ever happened to the Open Web! Mark my works.

    As another poster pointed out, there are a billion people on the web and 90M on facebook.

  127. Ballmer as the Emperor and Zuckerberg as Anakin Skywalker, completing his conversion to the dark side? “Rise my son… yes, master” I look forward to that youtube clip…

  128. Ballmer as the Emperor and Zuckerberg as Anakin Skywalker, completing his conversion to the dark side? “Rise my son… yes, master” I look forward to that youtube clip…

  129. Neat post. However, I think it’s only true if Facebook is the primary website on the internet. Remember, the internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. If important information starts not showing up in Google, folks will stop putting that information in Facebook.

    Facebook data already doesn’t show up on Google, and nobody complains because Facebook events and such aren’t externally important–nobody cares if folks don’t stumble across it during a Google search.

    Also, isn’t this just more speculation? Isn’t it based on rumors that MS may buy Yahoo!/Facebook?

  130. Neat post. However, I think it’s only true if Facebook is the primary website on the internet. Remember, the internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. If important information starts not showing up in Google, folks will stop putting that information in Facebook.

    Facebook data already doesn’t show up on Google, and nobody complains because Facebook events and such aren’t externally important–nobody cares if folks don’t stumble across it during a Google search.

    Also, isn’t this just more speculation? Isn’t it based on rumors that MS may buy Yahoo!/Facebook?

  131. Yup, could be a big big deal. There are arguments that MS wouldn’t overpay for Facebook, but the payoff of a killer MS (Yahoo) search synergized with Facebook could be worth the risk for MS. Something to watch (any maybe run from!).

  132. Yup, could be a big big deal. There are arguments that MS wouldn’t overpay for Facebook, but the payoff of a killer MS (Yahoo) search synergized with Facebook could be worth the risk for MS. Something to watch (any maybe run from!).

  133. [...] hubbub is really about arranging the pawns in an Internet chess game between Redmond and Google. Robert Scoble seems to agree. The rumors may change (the software giant’s most recent statement could be a ruse to derail [...]

  134. Wow. Will Google index my mail and put it to the web? And why dont you buy facebook for 15 billions, then sell it to Google for 20 billions, so you could make a hefty 5 billions for youself, save Google and save the world from Microsoft

  135. Wow. Will Google index my mail and put it to the web? And why dont you buy facebook for 15 billions, then sell it to Google for 20 billions, so you could make a hefty 5 billions for youself, save Google and save the world from Microsoft

  136. Robert, you said “Do you see a Facebook entry there? Nope. Google is locked out of the Web that soon will be owned by Microsoft. We will never get an open Web back if these two deals happen.”

    and

    “This is a scary company [Facebook] and if it gets in the hands of Microsoft will create a scary monopoly.”

    Instead of saying you are an idiot I’m going to say these two statements are true lunacy.

    1) Locked out of the web? If M$ purchased Facebook and then closed the data and made it hard for people to export data or for search engines to search then they would be cutting their own throats in the long run. In fact, since I own M$ stock if they spend 20 billion on Facebook I’m going to sell because it will truely show how stupid they’ve become. As for loosing the open web, I’d worry more about ISP filtering and packet shaping than social applications hoarding data. Users can walk to other applications, but it is damn hard to deal with packet shaping.
    2) “Scary Monopoly”. Sounds like the crying of the little boy on the hill tasked with sheparding sheep. Unfortunatly, with the web and with social applications there IS NO SUCH THING AS A MONOPOLY. I’d venture to say Myspace is as big or bigger than Facebook and when users (consumers) get mis-treated they aren’t dumb, they’ll walk with their money and data in hand, even if they have to re-import into a new application.

    Keep it real as M$ and Facebook is just another way to throw hard earned money into the Pit they call the WWW. Remember in 1999 when the WEB was everything and the money flowed like wine? I’d say the past 9 years have softened people’s memories and so now stupid has reared its ugly head and is unleashing its rath once again.

  137. Robert, you said “Do you see a Facebook entry there? Nope. Google is locked out of the Web that soon will be owned by Microsoft. We will never get an open Web back if these two deals happen.”

    and

    “This is a scary company [Facebook] and if it gets in the hands of Microsoft will create a scary monopoly.”

    Instead of saying you are an idiot I’m going to say these two statements are true lunacy.

    1) Locked out of the web? If M$ purchased Facebook and then closed the data and made it hard for people to export data or for search engines to search then they would be cutting their own throats in the long run. In fact, since I own M$ stock if they spend 20 billion on Facebook I’m going to sell because it will truely show how stupid they’ve become. As for loosing the open web, I’d worry more about ISP filtering and packet shaping than social applications hoarding data. Users can walk to other applications, but it is damn hard to deal with packet shaping.
    2) “Scary Monopoly”. Sounds like the crying of the little boy on the hill tasked with sheparding sheep. Unfortunatly, with the web and with social applications there IS NO SUCH THING AS A MONOPOLY. I’d venture to say Myspace is as big or bigger than Facebook and when users (consumers) get mis-treated they aren’t dumb, they’ll walk with their money and data in hand, even if they have to re-import into a new application.

    Keep it real as M$ and Facebook is just another way to throw hard earned money into the Pit they call the WWW. Remember in 1999 when the WEB was everything and the money flowed like wine? I’d say the past 9 years have softened people’s memories and so now stupid has reared its ugly head and is unleashing its rath once again.

  138. [...] Microsoft to buy Yahoo’s search division and Facebook for a cool $45 billion. Apparently the Yahoo search part of the deal will be complete within the week. Now Scoble, naturally has been all over this like a rash (of the good kind) see his post here. [...]

  139. We should probably add something very, very important to this discussion:

    With Facebook and Yahoo Search, Microsoft would NOT end up with a monopoly! Microsoft would probably buy its way to be up to par with Google, but not more.
    No need to cry for regulations here, although I’m usually a fan of government regulation. (Pure capitalism is very bad for a market economy, even if it sounds a bit strange. We would have one company in every industry, little innovation and high prices. And don’t tell me that Silicon Valley is the example for the opposite. The Valley is the economic powerhouse it is BECAUSE of government regulation. (Especially the military and intelligence funded a lot of stuff here. Including Keyhole/Google Earth, for example.))

  140. We should probably add something very, very important to this discussion:

    With Facebook and Yahoo Search, Microsoft would NOT end up with a monopoly! Microsoft would probably buy its way to be up to par with Google, but not more.
    No need to cry for regulations here, although I’m usually a fan of government regulation. (Pure capitalism is very bad for a market economy, even if it sounds a bit strange. We would have one company in every industry, little innovation and high prices. And don’t tell me that Silicon Valley is the example for the opposite. The Valley is the economic powerhouse it is BECAUSE of government regulation. (Especially the military and intelligence funded a lot of stuff here. Including Keyhole/Google Earth, for example.))

  141. For me I see this whole walled garden as a bit of a trust thing. This is often personal information being used and aggregated and searched. Creating a walled garden puts some kind of layer of security or trust around the whole thing. Would you want a Bank with no walls? Welcome to the information economy…

    I also agree with a comment above about climbing those walls, that’s a requirement, there need to be “manageable” ways in and out. Like it or not, security of personal stuff is something the masses value (I think the hyper-connected worry about that less).

    Final point, who do you trust…one company or everyone? Who has YOUR money, one bank or lots of individuals?

  142. For me I see this whole walled garden as a bit of a trust thing. This is often personal information being used and aggregated and searched. Creating a walled garden puts some kind of layer of security or trust around the whole thing. Would you want a Bank with no walls? Welcome to the information economy…

    I also agree with a comment above about climbing those walls, that’s a requirement, there need to be “manageable” ways in and out. Like it or not, security of personal stuff is something the masses value (I think the hyper-connected worry about that less).

    Final point, who do you trust…one company or everyone? Who has YOUR money, one bank or lots of individuals?

  143. Scoble> … the Web that soon will be owned by Microsoft
    Why did you leave Microsoft then?

    Furrier> … Yahoo and Microsoft teams are bunkered down in a Palo Alto hotel
    Go make the Valley’s biggest picket line around that hotel.

    Robert, Google’s PR has always been excellent. Now that so many ex-Googler’s are working at Facebook, they are obviously pissed, and now take any chance to create problems for Facebook. You have just fallen to their spin.

    Wake up.

    BTW: just noticed *your* copyright notice under the “Submit Comment” button. YOU OWN MY COMMENT NOW??? How is that for data potability?

  144. Scoble> … the Web that soon will be owned by Microsoft
    Why did you leave Microsoft then?

    Furrier> … Yahoo and Microsoft teams are bunkered down in a Palo Alto hotel
    Go make the Valley’s biggest picket line around that hotel.

    Robert, Google’s PR has always been excellent. Now that so many ex-Googler’s are working at Facebook, they are obviously pissed, and now take any chance to create problems for Facebook. You have just fallen to their spin.

    Wake up.

    BTW: just noticed *your* copyright notice under the “Submit Comment” button. YOU OWN MY COMMENT NOW??? How is that for data potability?

  145. Everything is as it should be…

    or maybe not. Although lets face it (not facebook it) this is a “net quake” at the moment, and there is lots of hype especially in the “Hype Gravity Center” of the US. It’s easy to get into a frenzy.. I wonder if this is similar to the “early” days where MS started to dominate the desktops and office apps.

    Either way, the web needs to stay open for sure, but again, if facebook are keeping google out, then if MS buy facebook, what would change there? I agree with a few of the comments that either way, MS cannot afford to keep in a locked environment for long.. as you say, the likes of friendfeed and such other aggregators will always find a way.

    Also, as also mentioned, take the whole world into account here.. facebook is one social network – albeit popular etc.. the other question is what would happen to Yahoo if their search was sold to MS – what would Yahoo be?

    Always interesting debates…

  146. Everything is as it should be…

    or maybe not. Although lets face it (not facebook it) this is a “net quake” at the moment, and there is lots of hype especially in the “Hype Gravity Center” of the US. It’s easy to get into a frenzy.. I wonder if this is similar to the “early” days where MS started to dominate the desktops and office apps.

    Either way, the web needs to stay open for sure, but again, if facebook are keeping google out, then if MS buy facebook, what would change there? I agree with a few of the comments that either way, MS cannot afford to keep in a locked environment for long.. as you say, the likes of friendfeed and such other aggregators will always find a way.

    Also, as also mentioned, take the whole world into account here.. facebook is one social network – albeit popular etc.. the other question is what would happen to Yahoo if their search was sold to MS – what would Yahoo be?

    Always interesting debates…

  147. I didn’t read all the comments but I like to say that this is all very interesting. This was the same problem with AOL. You had to have an account to get access. They were forced to have open web access with there aol.com website and now Facebook is controlling the closed web access. It won’t work. Once users realize the limited access they will demand the open access.

    These points are real and relevant but I have to say this is another old debate. We had this debate over 10 years ago.

  148. I didn’t read all the comments but I like to say that this is all very interesting. This was the same problem with AOL. You had to have an account to get access. They were forced to have open web access with there aol.com website and now Facebook is controlling the closed web access. It won’t work. Once users realize the limited access they will demand the open access.

    These points are real and relevant but I have to say this is another old debate. We had this debate over 10 years ago.

  149. This article is DUMB. You think Google will sit on the wayside if Yahoo/Microsoft has access to data (that is useful) and Google can’t get them into their indexes?
    YOU THINK GOOGLE IS THAT DUMB?

  150. This article is DUMB. You think Google will sit on the wayside if Yahoo/Microsoft has access to data (that is useful) and Google can’t get them into their indexes?
    YOU THINK GOOGLE IS THAT DUMB?

  151. Robert, I can’t understand why you appear to equate “open” with “enables Google to profit from other people’s content.”

    Who cares if stuff is “Googlable” ?? Let them figure out another business model that doesn’t sit fat on top of my content, reaping dollars from every ad blaring right alongside. I get so sick of those in my Gmail that I’m moving to a live account or something else with no ads…

  152. Robert, I can’t understand why you appear to equate “open” with “enables Google to profit from other people’s content.”

    Who cares if stuff is “Googlable” ?? Let them figure out another business model that doesn’t sit fat on top of my content, reaping dollars from every ad blaring right alongside. I get so sick of those in my Gmail that I’m moving to a live account or something else with no ads…

  153. I can’t see this as a killer feature for search, either, though Facebook isn’t done growing and MS isn’t done acquiring. But as an online office play, it might work. People growing up on Facebook and Myspace are entering the workforce now. Intranets are usually a mess. New employees are comfortable using the web for collaboration, wikis, message boards and online groups, not shared drives and email threads. So if MS wants to sell office online as a service, they could do a lot worse than building an enterprise-friendly service on top of Facebook.

    Advertising isn’t lucrative on social networking sites, anyway – which is why Zuckerberg is probably willing to sell now. But selling business social networks could be very lucrative, esp. alongside office apps. Facebook has a proprietary API, is MS-friendly and skews older than Myspace, but still has a sizable audience. It’s viable as a platform and familiar enough to be attractive. Developers would pay fees to offer MS certified enterprise apps. Everything would be subscription-based. So in the future, maybe Facebook replaces Google Docs, MS Office, monster.com and corporate intranets. That would be a new business monopoly and a familiar one for MS. Plus, real killer content for search: your own work content served alongside live.com results.

    MS provides potential customers, the legal framework and experience with the enterprise market. Facebook provides the platform and the brand. It would never work, since it cannibalizes roughly 90% of MS.

  154. I can’t see this as a killer feature for search, either, though Facebook isn’t done growing and MS isn’t done acquiring. But as an online office play, it might work. People growing up on Facebook and Myspace are entering the workforce now. Intranets are usually a mess. New employees are comfortable using the web for collaboration, wikis, message boards and online groups, not shared drives and email threads. So if MS wants to sell office online as a service, they could do a lot worse than building an enterprise-friendly service on top of Facebook.

    Advertising isn’t lucrative on social networking sites, anyway – which is why Zuckerberg is probably willing to sell now. But selling business social networks could be very lucrative, esp. alongside office apps. Facebook has a proprietary API, is MS-friendly and skews older than Myspace, but still has a sizable audience. It’s viable as a platform and familiar enough to be attractive. Developers would pay fees to offer MS certified enterprise apps. Everything would be subscription-based. So in the future, maybe Facebook replaces Google Docs, MS Office, monster.com and corporate intranets. That would be a new business monopoly and a familiar one for MS. Plus, real killer content for search: your own work content served alongside live.com results.

    MS provides potential customers, the legal framework and experience with the enterprise market. Facebook provides the platform and the brand. It would never work, since it cannibalizes roughly 90% of MS.

  155. this reminds me of when the MSFT-YHOO merger was first proposed, and Google’s Chief Legal Attack dog foamed at the mouth about how Microsoft would exert an “inappropriate and illegal” influence over the Internet, and how Google was standing up for Free Internet, Mom, Apple Pie, the American Way, etc. Have you ever seen Bill Gates wearing an American Flag pin? Hmmm??? Well HAVE YOU?????

    Of course it would be easy to point out that Microsoft has committed to working towards Data Portability, but that fact kind of cuts into your fearmongering a bit, so let’s not mention it. Much easier to scare people when you leave out a fact here and there and start screaming about walled gardens and DEATH of the Interwebs.

    The one thing Microsoft does believe in is the privacy of your data as a *default*, whereas you keep telling us “privacy is dead” and we should just get over it. Presumably because private things interfere with Google’s ability to index them, and anything that interferes with Google is by definition Evil, and must be stopped!

    If you drink the Google Kool-Aid on a red-eye flight, does the lower air pressure & dehydration make it go to your head faster, or something…?

  156. this reminds me of when the MSFT-YHOO merger was first proposed, and Google’s Chief Legal Attack dog foamed at the mouth about how Microsoft would exert an “inappropriate and illegal” influence over the Internet, and how Google was standing up for Free Internet, Mom, Apple Pie, the American Way, etc. Have you ever seen Bill Gates wearing an American Flag pin? Hmmm??? Well HAVE YOU?????

    Of course it would be easy to point out that Microsoft has committed to working towards Data Portability, but that fact kind of cuts into your fearmongering a bit, so let’s not mention it. Much easier to scare people when you leave out a fact here and there and start screaming about walled gardens and DEATH of the Interwebs.

    The one thing Microsoft does believe in is the privacy of your data as a *default*, whereas you keep telling us “privacy is dead” and we should just get over it. Presumably because private things interfere with Google’s ability to index them, and anything that interferes with Google is by definition Evil, and must be stopped!

    If you drink the Google Kool-Aid on a red-eye flight, does the lower air pressure & dehydration make it go to your head faster, or something…?

  157. well the deal was always about geting scale so that Yahoo plus Microsft could make a better job of competing against Googles Ad business.

  158. well the deal was always about geting scale so that Yahoo plus Microsft could make a better job of competing against Googles Ad business.

  159. Scoble, go sell crazy somewhere else. Kevin Johnson has said MS to make small, tactical acquisitions. Like any rumor this has no facts supporting it whatsoever. And your explanation is devoid of any financial analysis beyond made up prices for Facebook. Your “hearing rumours” is no different than the “9/11 truthers” or those that claim Elvis sightings.

    BTW, didn’t the use of the word “TOTALLY” go out around 1986? Grow up in the San Fernando Valley, did ya?

  160. Scoble, go sell crazy somewhere else. Kevin Johnson has said MS to make small, tactical acquisitions. Like any rumor this has no facts supporting it whatsoever. And your explanation is devoid of any financial analysis beyond made up prices for Facebook. Your “hearing rumours” is no different than the “9/11 truthers” or those that claim Elvis sightings.

    BTW, didn’t the use of the word “TOTALLY” go out around 1986? Grow up in the San Fernando Valley, did ya?

  161. WTF? I quit reading when you used the Facebook event having more members than Upcoming.org example. OF COURSE IT DOES! Look at the user base of each network.

    Microsoft won’t buy Facebook. It instantly loses its “cool”. At the most, Microsoft will invest in it as much as possible without people perceiving that they own it. Look at Google & AOL as an example.

  162. WTF? I quit reading when you used the Facebook event having more members than Upcoming.org example. OF COURSE IT DOES! Look at the user base of each network.

    Microsoft won’t buy Facebook. It instantly loses its “cool”. At the most, Microsoft will invest in it as much as possible without people perceiving that they own it. Look at Google & AOL as an example.

  163. Google Spin: Eric Schmidt has complained about Facebook’s contents not being searchable by/from Google. I think it was in one of your QIK videos — a while ago. Google has the Search monopoly and (like MSFT in the old days) agressively wants to break into any adjacent field, which here means peeking into any private data repository.

    At the same time, Google has no respect for privacy. As Eric Schmidt said in London: Google wants to know what I will want tomorrow. Well, I don’t want them to know. I don’t even want to know myself.

    Everything you said in this article makes Google look good, and Microsoft and Facebook look bad. And the only other property that looks good is FriendFeed — which could well be a Google property in disguise, given who runs it.

    And regarding Google’s recent Connect thingy: It used to be that when a software company was significantly larger than another, it would have talks about cooperation before interfacing. If that didn’t work, it would buy the smaller company. Why is Google not buying Facebook, if they can’t come to an agreement with them?

    Lastly: When paying the 240M USD to Facebook, Ballmer made very clear that he did not accept Facebook’s “valuation” of 15B USD. He didn’t quite say he could build Facebook on a weekend, but something close. And, Microsoft better than all the people locked in the Valley, knows that Facebook’s internationalization strategy was too little, way too late. Much like eBay back in the day, Facebook will have to buy all the national Facebook-look alikes — and that will be expensive (and would be even more so, with Facebook owned by MSFT). [For example, the two largest web properties in Germany are Facebook rip-off's owned by one of the large media houses.]

    One more thing: in the last couple of weeks several blogs were saying that Facebook needs 50,000 new servers this year, MSFT will buy 120,000 servers in 2008, and Google 500,000. Facebook already needing 10% of the compute power of Google does not look like a well-scaling implementation. Plus, it’s a huge waste of electricity just for throwing sheep…

  164. Google Spin: Eric Schmidt has complained about Facebook’s contents not being searchable by/from Google. I think it was in one of your QIK videos — a while ago. Google has the Search monopoly and (like MSFT in the old days) agressively wants to break into any adjacent field, which here means peeking into any private data repository.

    At the same time, Google has no respect for privacy. As Eric Schmidt said in London: Google wants to know what I will want tomorrow. Well, I don’t want them to know. I don’t even want to know myself.

    Everything you said in this article makes Google look good, and Microsoft and Facebook look bad. And the only other property that looks good is FriendFeed — which could well be a Google property in disguise, given who runs it.

    And regarding Google’s recent Connect thingy: It used to be that when a software company was significantly larger than another, it would have talks about cooperation before interfacing. If that didn’t work, it would buy the smaller company. Why is Google not buying Facebook, if they can’t come to an agreement with them?

    Lastly: When paying the 240M USD to Facebook, Ballmer made very clear that he did not accept Facebook’s “valuation” of 15B USD. He didn’t quite say he could build Facebook on a weekend, but something close. And, Microsoft better than all the people locked in the Valley, knows that Facebook’s internationalization strategy was too little, way too late. Much like eBay back in the day, Facebook will have to buy all the national Facebook-look alikes — and that will be expensive (and would be even more so, with Facebook owned by MSFT). [For example, the two largest web properties in Germany are Facebook rip-off's owned by one of the large media houses.]

    One more thing: in the last couple of weeks several blogs were saying that Facebook needs 50,000 new servers this year, MSFT will buy 120,000 servers in 2008, and Google 500,000. Facebook already needing 10% of the compute power of Google does not look like a well-scaling implementation. Plus, it’s a huge waste of electricity just for throwing sheep…

  165. It’s very simple, and brilliant. This is about buying the next “start page”. Facebook, if it succeeds, does so by becoming the default home page portal, replacing MSN and My Yahoo. Search is core to a home page (not searching facebook, duh). Microsoft is the only company in the world who can set the default home page to a large portion of the internet. This is a great strategy for Microsoft to own at least 50% of the search business in two years.

  166. It’s very simple, and brilliant. This is about buying the next “start page”. Facebook, if it succeeds, does so by becoming the default home page portal, replacing MSN and My Yahoo. Search is core to a home page (not searching facebook, duh). Microsoft is the only company in the world who can set the default home page to a large portion of the internet. This is a great strategy for Microsoft to own at least 50% of the search business in two years.

  167. [...] up with ways to buy some part of Yahoo. And now the rumor (reported by Robert Scoble) is that Microsoft may also buy Facebook for $15 to $20 billion. All of this in an effort to compete against Google – or as others suggest – perhaps just to [...]

  168. I hope that Microsoft does acquire Yahoo to merge it with Facebook.

    This is the proverbial buying of an anvil to do the backstroke with:)

    The real tragedy in such a desired scenario would be the impact on Yahoo!.

    Yahoo! needs to receive the mind-staggering offer since it has the secret sauce to pull all of the entire concept together.

    All else is ego-driven fantasy by executives involved:)

  169. I hope that Microsoft does acquire Yahoo to merge it with Facebook.

    This is the proverbial buying of an anvil to do the backstroke with:)

    The real tragedy in such a desired scenario would be the impact on Yahoo!.

    Yahoo! needs to receive the mind-staggering offer since it has the secret sauce to pull all of the entire concept together.

    All else is ego-driven fantasy by executives involved:)

  170. Yahoo-Google no antitrust thread, says Brin

    Got that?

    If Microsoft (#3) hooks up with Yahoo (#2), This represents a danger to Oceania and our way of life Oceania has always been at war with East Asia.

    But if Google (#1) hooks up with Yahoo (#2), that’s great, because, um, their tech teams “have a really good dynamic,” and the advertisers contacted him when they started seeing Google Ads show up on Yahoo’s site. The prices are set fairly because “AdWords is an auction,” and having more inventory for advertisers is a GoodThing. “We really believe in companies having choice about their destiny,” Brin said. “…we want to make sure they have as many options as possible.”

    So when Microsoft cozies up to Yahoo, it’s evil, THEY’RE evil, they’re limiting choices, they’re destroying the very foundations of the Interwebs and freedom that the blood of our fathers was spilled to secure.

    But when Google cozies up the Yahoo, it’s great!!! It’s a win for everybody! You can choose whether your ads appear on Google, or Yahoo, or both and pay whatever random price the market will bear.

    For those of you who don’t understand how this works, the Ministry of Truth will be holding a Doublethink refresher course tonight, after a brief Two Minutes’ Hate feature an image of Gates. Those handing in copies of programing books that are not about Python will be enouraged to throw them on the Google Campfire. Victory Beer will be distributed to all Party Workers, and a doubleplusgood time is guaranteed by all!

    Onward to Victory!

  171. Yahoo-Google no antitrust thread, says Brin

    Got that?

    If Microsoft (#3) hooks up with Yahoo (#2), This represents a danger to Oceania and our way of life Oceania has always been at war with East Asia.

    But if Google (#1) hooks up with Yahoo (#2), that’s great, because, um, their tech teams “have a really good dynamic,” and the advertisers contacted him when they started seeing Google Ads show up on Yahoo’s site. The prices are set fairly because “AdWords is an auction,” and having more inventory for advertisers is a GoodThing. “We really believe in companies having choice about their destiny,” Brin said. “…we want to make sure they have as many options as possible.”

    So when Microsoft cozies up to Yahoo, it’s evil, THEY’RE evil, they’re limiting choices, they’re destroying the very foundations of the Interwebs and freedom that the blood of our fathers was spilled to secure.

    But when Google cozies up the Yahoo, it’s great!!! It’s a win for everybody! You can choose whether your ads appear on Google, or Yahoo, or both and pay whatever random price the market will bear.

    For those of you who don’t understand how this works, the Ministry of Truth will be holding a Doublethink refresher course tonight, after a brief Two Minutes’ Hate feature an image of Gates. Those handing in copies of programing books that are not about Python will be enouraged to throw them on the Google Campfire. Victory Beer will be distributed to all Party Workers, and a doubleplusgood time is guaranteed by all!

    Onward to Victory!

  172. Robert, there is more to the internet than Facebook. FB will never be a valid alternative to the rest. So even if MSFT buys it (I work for MSFT but have no say in this) it will be about competing in part of the online advertising space.

    Or do you believe Face book will take over the web anyway?

  173. Robert, there is more to the internet than Facebook. FB will never be a valid alternative to the rest. So even if MSFT buys it (I work for MSFT but have no say in this) it will be about competing in part of the online advertising space.

    Or do you believe Face book will take over the web anyway?

  174. This is a foregone conclusion. I commented on it in your post about FriendConnect and wrote about it the other day: http://www.maxgladwell.com/2008/05/facebook-star-wars-and-greek-tragedy

    I’d be very surprised to see FB get anywhere near $15B, but stranger things have happened. The problem is that Facebook loses tremendous good will in the hands of Microsoft. It’s already bleeding brand equity in the wake of FriendConnect and emergence of OpenSocial.

    But I see history repeating: just as Netscape was destroyed by Microsoft after it exited to AOL, the same will happen here. Only it will be Google who kills Facebook by making social networking obsolete as a business. It never was a business. And there are more lessons to be learned in the amount of market share Firefox has taken from Microsoft. Open is more competitive and better for everyone. The evil empire will fall. They always do.

  175. This is a foregone conclusion. I commented on it in your post about FriendConnect and wrote about it the other day: http://www.maxgladwell.com/2008/05/facebook-star-wars-and-greek-tragedy

    I’d be very surprised to see FB get anywhere near $15B, but stranger things have happened. The problem is that Facebook loses tremendous good will in the hands of Microsoft. It’s already bleeding brand equity in the wake of FriendConnect and emergence of OpenSocial.

    But I see history repeating: just as Netscape was destroyed by Microsoft after it exited to AOL, the same will happen here. Only it will be Google who kills Facebook by making social networking obsolete as a business. It never was a business. And there are more lessons to be learned in the amount of market share Firefox has taken from Microsoft. Open is more competitive and better for everyone. The evil empire will fall. They always do.

  176. Just to stress a point made by Gautam in the beginning of the comments, and maybe correct him a bit: in Brazil, NOBODY knows Facebook. It’s something that you have if you happen to be interested in “stuff Americans like.”

    But that is not to say that, perhaps, Scoble might be on to something. Orkut is the single most visited website here in my country. Their data portability also sucks. Google at least had the decency of not allowing itself to crawl its own website beyond login and help pages, but still it could make itself even more powerful here than it already is by simply allowing people to search Orkut through its main index.

  177. Just to stress a point made by Gautam in the beginning of the comments, and maybe correct him a bit: in Brazil, NOBODY knows Facebook. It’s something that you have if you happen to be interested in “stuff Americans like.”

    But that is not to say that, perhaps, Scoble might be on to something. Orkut is the single most visited website here in my country. Their data portability also sucks. Google at least had the decency of not allowing itself to crawl its own website beyond login and help pages, but still it could make itself even more powerful here than it already is by simply allowing people to search Orkut through its main index.

  178. Robert: being a father of two small children, I find it amazing what you find time to dig up and write about -with/in depth.

    That said: aren’t all those above-named companies somehow on their way out?

    Don’t WE really want the grassroots to be where it’s at and to make it happen there?

    FB really does seem close to dead. MS isn’t exactly loved. Creating closed systems between the two won’t really help ‘em, eh?

    This *is* the chance for FriendFeed et al.

  179. Robert: being a father of two small children, I find it amazing what you find time to dig up and write about -with/in depth.

    That said: aren’t all those above-named companies somehow on their way out?

    Don’t WE really want the grassroots to be where it’s at and to make it happen there?

    FB really does seem close to dead. MS isn’t exactly loved. Creating closed systems between the two won’t really help ‘em, eh?

    This *is* the chance for FriendFeed et al.

  180. I’m sorry but this all assumes one HUGE concept which I think has been flawed from Day 1 and that is FaceBook, Twitter, and whatever other social network sites and tricks that are so hot for you Valley types is not the entire web. There are how many computers on the Internet, how many users and then how many users of Twitter or Facebook? These trends which you (Robert) and other’s tout as taking the web to someplace it has never been before are not taking over the Internet and a huge portion of Internet users never go anywhere near these sites.

    Case in point is I live in a city of 230,000 in an metro area of some 1.5 million however FaceBook has a total of less than 35,000 in the local network. That’s what around 13% of the city population or 2% of the total metro area? Out of that 2% a quick search shows a huge number of these Facebook users are under 21, most under 18 so is that 2% of teenagers really “The Internet”?

    Microsoft has money to burn so go ahead and let them make another billionaire instead of putting their money to a real use of developing products the consumer actually wants, a product that actually works and a product that doesn’t take a Quad core PC which dims the lights just because you launched Notepad. Then in two years time when everyone is still on XP and Server 2003 maybe they will get the hint.

    Come on Robert the world is not Facebook, Twitter and whatever other new tech startup the valley boyz can think up. The famous Bulbble 2.0 video hits the nail on the head more and more each freaking day, “here comes another bubble, it’s a monster rally all around the valley”!!!

  181. I’m sorry but this all assumes one HUGE concept which I think has been flawed from Day 1 and that is FaceBook, Twitter, and whatever other social network sites and tricks that are so hot for you Valley types is not the entire web. There are how many computers on the Internet, how many users and then how many users of Twitter or Facebook? These trends which you (Robert) and other’s tout as taking the web to someplace it has never been before are not taking over the Internet and a huge portion of Internet users never go anywhere near these sites.

    Case in point is I live in a city of 230,000 in an metro area of some 1.5 million however FaceBook has a total of less than 35,000 in the local network. That’s what around 13% of the city population or 2% of the total metro area? Out of that 2% a quick search shows a huge number of these Facebook users are under 21, most under 18 so is that 2% of teenagers really “The Internet”?

    Microsoft has money to burn so go ahead and let them make another billionaire instead of putting their money to a real use of developing products the consumer actually wants, a product that actually works and a product that doesn’t take a Quad core PC which dims the lights just because you launched Notepad. Then in two years time when everyone is still on XP and Server 2003 maybe they will get the hint.

    Come on Robert the world is not Facebook, Twitter and whatever other new tech startup the valley boyz can think up. The famous Bulbble 2.0 video hits the nail on the head more and more each freaking day, “here comes another bubble, it’s a monster rally all around the valley”!!!

  182. It’s an interesting rumor but one that I think is more about driving traffic to a blog. Sorry. Microsoft has a history of buying undervalued second placers and extending their platform and feature-sets to become number one. One could argue that this is not the case on the internet, fair enough. But FB is worth a lot of money (today). Yahoo has assets and IP. FB has sex appeal and traffic. Lessons in Brevity

  183. It’s an interesting rumor but one that I think is more about driving traffic to a blog. Sorry. Microsoft has a history of buying undervalued second placers and extending their platform and feature-sets to become number one. One could argue that this is not the case on the internet, fair enough. But FB is worth a lot of money (today). Yahoo has assets and IP. FB has sex appeal and traffic. Lessons in Brevity

  184. I am frustrated by Facebook’s lockouts – don’t want to sign up just to see someone else’s stuff, and am trying to decide what the best “friend” network is – MySpace or Facebook? I’m already on LinkedIn.

    Facebook, with its lockouts, has a strategy that may or may not bode well for its future. The example Scoble gives re: LeWeb’s 400+ responses within Facebook versus the external 100+ is a point well made. However it irritates me that so many sites within Facebook are unavailable on the open Web; that I can’t see things referenced to without signing up. Hate to be forced to do anything!!

    Maybe I should just drop it and join up. After all, I guess Facebook is no longer a fad….

  185. I am frustrated by Facebook’s lockouts – don’t want to sign up just to see someone else’s stuff, and am trying to decide what the best “friend” network is – MySpace or Facebook? I’m already on LinkedIn.

    Facebook, with its lockouts, has a strategy that may or may not bode well for its future. The example Scoble gives re: LeWeb’s 400+ responses within Facebook versus the external 100+ is a point well made. However it irritates me that so many sites within Facebook are unavailable on the open Web; that I can’t see things referenced to without signing up. Hate to be forced to do anything!!

    Maybe I should just drop it and join up. After all, I guess Facebook is no longer a fad….

  186. Hang on a sec. I think you have a point, Robert, if your scenario unfolds. But what are the chances?

    Just today, Zuckerberg says that he wants to work with Google: “Facebook said today that it’s willing to sit down with Google to explore a way forward. Talking at a news conference in Tokyo to launch a local language version of the site, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “We want to talk to Google about this and see if there’s a way we can make it work”, reports Macworld UK.”

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/social/?p=502

    If this is the case, we needn’t worry about the straw man. It’s small chance that Facebook will remain closed to Google.

    But it’s important to be on top of these topics, which get to the very core of what today’s Internet is about.

  187. Hang on a sec. I think you have a point, Robert, if your scenario unfolds. But what are the chances?

    Just today, Zuckerberg says that he wants to work with Google: “Facebook said today that it’s willing to sit down with Google to explore a way forward. Talking at a news conference in Tokyo to launch a local language version of the site, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “We want to talk to Google about this and see if there’s a way we can make it work”, reports Macworld UK.”

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/social/?p=502

    If this is the case, we needn’t worry about the straw man. It’s small chance that Facebook will remain closed to Google.

    But it’s important to be on top of these topics, which get to the very core of what today’s Internet is about.

  188. Microsoft better do something fast. I see the pros and cons of what they are doing and enjoy the battle between them and Google.

    Google is turning into MSFT, who has been jipping us consumers for years. The amount of money spent on Vista and XP should have produced better results. Open sources products with little funding have been producing tight releases whereas Microsft

  189. Microsoft better do something fast. I see the pros and cons of what they are doing and enjoy the battle between them and Google.

    Google is turning into MSFT, who has been jipping us consumers for years. The amount of money spent on Vista and XP should have produced better results. Open sources products with little funding have been producing tight releases whereas Microsft

  190. every period has its poster boy, and facebook may be the present poster boy of the web. But would the clout of facebook still continue 2 – 3 years down the line (assuming that it does not move to open standards). I really doubt that…

    with a host of other sites moving to open standards, it would only be a matter of time when the developer & user base of the other 2-3 Social apps would equal facebook, and at that point, facebook would need to open up, or see its share erode… This walled garden has to fall – it cant last long. And any merger that is based on the assumption of this walled garden continuing is also bound to fail.

    On a parallel note, came across this site which had an interesting take on the MS – Yahoo deal
    http://ameteurtooner.blogspot.com/search/label/Microsoft%20-%20Yahoo

  191. every period has its poster boy, and facebook may be the present poster boy of the web. But would the clout of facebook still continue 2 – 3 years down the line (assuming that it does not move to open standards). I really doubt that…

    with a host of other sites moving to open standards, it would only be a matter of time when the developer & user base of the other 2-3 Social apps would equal facebook, and at that point, facebook would need to open up, or see its share erode… This walled garden has to fall – it cant last long. And any merger that is based on the assumption of this walled garden continuing is also bound to fail.

    On a parallel note, came across this site which had an interesting take on the MS – Yahoo deal
    http://ameteurtooner.blogspot.com/search/label/Microsoft%20-%20Yahoo

  192. Robert said: This is a scary company and if it gets in the hands of Microsoft will create a scary monopoly.

    So Google isn’t a scary monopoly?? I think they are the most frightening of all, and I’m all for any strong competition that can keep them from getting 100% of online advertising.

  193. Robert said: This is a scary company and if it gets in the hands of Microsoft will create a scary monopoly.

    So Google isn’t a scary monopoly?? I think they are the most frightening of all, and I’m all for any strong competition that can keep them from getting 100% of online advertising.

  194. I’m just glad I got all my friends + emails out of the system when Microsoft first launched that site of theirs to add friends to messenger.

    There was a bug that let you get a csv out of all your friends with all their details… Wish more people had read my blog post on how to do it!

  195. I’m just glad I got all my friends + emails out of the system when Microsoft first launched that site of theirs to add friends to messenger.

    There was a bug that let you get a csv out of all your friends with all their details… Wish more people had read my blog post on how to do it!

  196. Google is also a huge monopoly, which spends billions of dollars practicing a virtual dumping of every company that competes with them. How? They just offer the same thing for free… If you defend this model, why attack MS’s model? Google is not fighting for a free-web, which can be seen by the enormous restrictions they tried to impose on the books they are scanning. In fact, all universities decided to scan books through 2 systems, so we are not screwed by “don’t do evil” some time later…

    A company full of A-Types, hungry for success, and fame, isn’t Google the MS of the 80′s? We will see…

  197. Google is also a huge monopoly, which spends billions of dollars practicing a virtual dumping of every company that competes with them. How? They just offer the same thing for free… If you defend this model, why attack MS’s model? Google is not fighting for a free-web, which can be seen by the enormous restrictions they tried to impose on the books they are scanning. In fact, all universities decided to scan books through 2 systems, so we are not screwed by “don’t do evil” some time later…

    A company full of A-Types, hungry for success, and fame, isn’t Google the MS of the 80′s? We will see…

  198. I agree. Let Microsoft spend a bunch of money in the short term. It seems to me that they just don’t like getting beat. They’re the hungry cash cow just waiting to get to the food. I think the web will fight back and fight back hard. In the end, it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  199. I agree. Let Microsoft spend a bunch of money in the short term. It seems to me that they just don’t like getting beat. They’re the hungry cash cow just waiting to get to the food. I think the web will fight back and fight back hard. In the end, it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  200. [...] for Facebook, a company on track for a reported $300-350 million in sales this year. Scoble has an elaborate theory about why it would make sense, but I still can’t see how those numbers add up to anything logical [...]

  201. The closed doors could not stay that way. This plan might work for a year or so, but too many players (like YOU!) would insist that MicroHooBook adopt more open standards.

  202. The closed doors could not stay that way. This plan might work for a year or so, but too many players (like YOU!) would insist that MicroHooBook adopt more open standards.

  203. “Go to Google and do a search for “Le Web 08.””

    What fraction of the general public will search for Le Web 08? Far greater numbers are searching for things like ‘cure for ‘ and ‘how to ‘ and so on – where Google search results will continue to be far better than YHOO+MS+FB. Once MS owns YHOO search and FB, then it might be possible that their search results for things like Le Web 08 and friendfeed vs twitter be more relevant to you than Google’s but only 0.05% (I made that up) of the world will know or care. The rest will keep using Google to find instructions to plant fruit trees.

  204. “Go to Google and do a search for “Le Web 08.””

    What fraction of the general public will search for Le Web 08? Far greater numbers are searching for things like ‘cure for ‘ and ‘how to ‘ and so on – where Google search results will continue to be far better than YHOO+MS+FB. Once MS owns YHOO search and FB, then it might be possible that their search results for things like Le Web 08 and friendfeed vs twitter be more relevant to you than Google’s but only 0.05% (I made that up) of the world will know or care. The rest will keep using Google to find instructions to plant fruit trees.

  205. Facebook is an even better investment if you think of it’s population less in terms of the amount of people on it compared to the rest of the web, and more in terms of the fact that it represents most of an entire generation of young americans, i.e. long term customers.
    One of the problems they’ll face is that Microsoft would want to keep out competitors from all fields. Imagine all of those Facebook users no longer being able to pull up the Facebook iPhone app or access their account on their iMac because Microsoft makes the site unusable for Safari.

  206. Facebook is an even better investment if you think of it’s population less in terms of the amount of people on it compared to the rest of the web, and more in terms of the fact that it represents most of an entire generation of young americans, i.e. long term customers.
    One of the problems they’ll face is that Microsoft would want to keep out competitors from all fields. Imagine all of those Facebook users no longer being able to pull up the Facebook iPhone app or access their account on their iMac because Microsoft makes the site unusable for Safari.

  207. More likely scenario, if MS attempts this?

    Facebook becomes irrelevant, and becomes just another crappy Microsoft property that underperforms/dies on the vine.

  208. More likely scenario, if MS attempts this?

    Facebook becomes irrelevant, and becomes just another crappy Microsoft property that underperforms/dies on the vine.

  209. Buying 2 overvalued yet underperforming properties with lots of overlap and merger digestion (not to mention time and manpower), is a third placer, going into fourth and fifth, your ‘first place’ analysis, is, as usual, wholly wrongheaded. Nothing to gain here, just Google envy driving it, would someone please remind Microsoft that they are a SOFTWARE company.

    Your black-helicopters conspiracy rant is loony-bin material, this is not a Microsoft takes over the world play, it’s more, MSN is so seriously horrible that Microsoft has to do something, anything.

  210. Buying 2 overvalued yet underperforming properties with lots of overlap and merger digestion (not to mention time and manpower), is a third placer, going into fourth and fifth, your ‘first place’ analysis, is, as usual, wholly wrongheaded. Nothing to gain here, just Google envy driving it, would someone please remind Microsoft that they are a SOFTWARE company.

    Your black-helicopters conspiracy rant is loony-bin material, this is not a Microsoft takes over the world play, it’s more, MSN is so seriously horrible that Microsoft has to do something, anything.

  211. It seems to me, the ultimate showdown will be MSFT vs. WWW (aka Google) followed by Google vs. The Individual. Armageddon by another name.

  212. I was wondering why the whole Yahoo/Microsoft thing resurfaced on the cover of the New York Times this morning. Just hope you have alerted the gnomes who can all make the black hats go bye-bye. :-)

  213. I was wondering why the whole Yahoo/Microsoft thing resurfaced on the cover of the New York Times this morning. Just hope you have alerted the gnomes who can all make the black hats go bye-bye. :-)

  214. Oh, fooey. Saying that Facebook blocks HTTP if you’re not authorized is just like saying Hotmail or Gmail or your bank block HTTP. Red herring.

  215. Oh, fooey. Saying that Facebook blocks HTTP if you’re not authorized is just like saying Hotmail or Gmail or your bank block HTTP. Red herring.

  216. This is interesting Robert. I have a facebook account and have played with their api a bit but somehow missed the fact that they aren’t readily open to external search (I obviously don’t use it much :) ). I wonder if someone added a facebook app that let facebook’s users add content to an outside service for indexing, sort of like digg for facebook, if facebook would try to kill it?

  217. This is interesting Robert. I have a facebook account and have played with their api a bit but somehow missed the fact that they aren’t readily open to external search (I obviously don’t use it much :) ). I wonder if someone added a facebook app that let facebook’s users add content to an outside service for indexing, sort of like digg for facebook, if facebook would try to kill it?

  218. I said some days earlier on Friendfeed:
    Microsoft buying Facebook: Irrelevant buys irrelevant. I guess it must look like a brilliant move to them.

    They might make some money in the meantime, but eventually they will turn out to be nothing but aberrations in history.

    I’m still hoping for Nokia to buy Yahoo. I think they could be great together. They could become as nicely integrated as Apple, while still keeping user choice.

    Yahoo Web Search would not matter much to Nokia. Yahoo could buy Yelp to strengthen it’s local position. Imagine the vertically integrated mobile, local experience…

  219. I said some days earlier on Friendfeed:
    Microsoft buying Facebook: Irrelevant buys irrelevant. I guess it must look like a brilliant move to them.

    They might make some money in the meantime, but eventually they will turn out to be nothing but aberrations in history.

    I’m still hoping for Nokia to buy Yahoo. I think they could be great together. They could become as nicely integrated as Apple, while still keeping user choice.

    Yahoo Web Search would not matter much to Nokia. Yahoo could buy Yelp to strengthen it’s local position. Imagine the vertically integrated mobile, local experience…

  220. Why is it evil for Microsoft to do what Google is already doing? That is – seeking marketplace domination. There are plenty of things Google does that violate their “Do no harm” mantra.

    In a free market competition ultimately serves the consumer. Bring it on and let the market do what it does best.

  221. Why is it evil for Microsoft to do what Google is already doing? That is – seeking marketplace domination. There are plenty of things Google does that violate their “Do no harm” mantra.

    In a free market competition ultimately serves the consumer. Bring it on and let the market do what it does best.

  222. Robert, wow.. good point..never really thought of it.. but you are right.. and in a way.. it just goes to show as URLs become less and less important and Search Terms becoming the URLs of the future.. Proprietary Searches sites that only access certain gardens dependent on business deals, ownership, and strategic relationships… is that the future.. wow. scary.. I don’t know what was worse.. MS controlling your desktop, or MS controlling half the internet..

  223. Robert, wow.. good point..never really thought of it.. but you are right.. and in a way.. it just goes to show as URLs become less and less important and Search Terms becoming the URLs of the future.. Proprietary Searches sites that only access certain gardens dependent on business deals, ownership, and strategic relationships… is that the future.. wow. scary.. I don’t know what was worse.. MS controlling your desktop, or MS controlling half the internet..

  224. Holy conspiracy, Batman. I find it interesting that Microsoft is attempting to apply the same methodologies in Web that they do in Software… Yes, it’ll provide a great means of access to features Google won’t – if they go with the whole people finder bit, etc… but the logic makes little sense. There’s no long tail in that… All Google has to do is duplicate functionality and they’ll still win in volume usage.

    It would be within MSFT’s best interest to stop being themselves when it comes to making decisions on the Internet. This is an open community that doesn’t work off of a fixed platform, and there are already more than a dozen ways to do the same thing. In that respect they should do something they don’t do… Connect with the people that actually use their stuff and build something that relates to a greater percentage of those that have influence. Change our minds about their horrible business characteristics, change our view point about their stance on computing; that’s how they win.

    These mid-90′s computing tactics will still work. For how long? Who knows… I’d prefer to see someone as influential as MSFT not be douche bags about the whole thing… yet again.

  225. Holy conspiracy, Batman. I find it interesting that Microsoft is attempting to apply the same methodologies in Web that they do in Software… Yes, it’ll provide a great means of access to features Google won’t – if they go with the whole people finder bit, etc… but the logic makes little sense. There’s no long tail in that… All Google has to do is duplicate functionality and they’ll still win in volume usage.

    It would be within MSFT’s best interest to stop being themselves when it comes to making decisions on the Internet. This is an open community that doesn’t work off of a fixed platform, and there are already more than a dozen ways to do the same thing. In that respect they should do something they don’t do… Connect with the people that actually use their stuff and build something that relates to a greater percentage of those that have influence. Change our minds about their horrible business characteristics, change our view point about their stance on computing; that’s how they win.

    These mid-90′s computing tactics will still work. For how long? Who knows… I’d prefer to see someone as influential as MSFT not be douche bags about the whole thing… yet again.

  226. Hi Robert you do have a great point.

    On the one hand I kinda like the idea to be able to “hide” from Google and strangers on the web, and be in my own playground – as e.g. in Facebook. On the other hand I do certainly NOT want to be “sold” as a cattle to Bill, Steve and his crowd. I do want an open web, but I also want to be able to connect to whom I want – and not let it be a wide open space where everyone can look at what, and who my friends are. And this is exactly what social networks are all about – There is no such thing as a “free ride” it seems.

  227. Hi Robert you do have a great point.

    On the one hand I kinda like the idea to be able to “hide” from Google and strangers on the web, and be in my own playground – as e.g. in Facebook. On the other hand I do certainly NOT want to be “sold” as a cattle to Bill, Steve and his crowd. I do want an open web, but I also want to be able to connect to whom I want – and not let it be a wide open space where everyone can look at what, and who my friends are. And this is exactly what social networks are all about – There is no such thing as a “free ride” it seems.

  228. “It seems to me, the ultimate showdown will be MSFT vs. WWW (aka Google) followed by Google vs. The Individual. Armageddon by another name.”
    You have it exactly right, except for you equating GOOG to the WWW. The brilliance of GOOG is that they don’t equate themselves to the web. They know they’re there to add value to the web, and they’re quite good at it. It’s comparable to Red Hat / Novell / * vs MSFT on the software front. I do think GOOG should buy out Friendfeed though, while they’re still cheap. Friendfeed could very well have found the key to “social search”, the holy grail GOOG is after.

  229. “It seems to me, the ultimate showdown will be MSFT vs. WWW (aka Google) followed by Google vs. The Individual. Armageddon by another name.”
    You have it exactly right, except for you equating GOOG to the WWW. The brilliance of GOOG is that they don’t equate themselves to the web. They know they’re there to add value to the web, and they’re quite good at it. It’s comparable to Red Hat / Novell / * vs MSFT on the software front. I do think GOOG should buy out Friendfeed though, while they’re still cheap. Friendfeed could very well have found the key to “social search”, the holy grail GOOG is after.

  230. Don’t get it….if I put photos, videos etc..on Facebook, I don’t want it available to anyone else…only those I choose to see it…this locked out nonsense is a mute point…if you want it available to the entire internet, you post it on places like YouTube, if you only want it available to some people, you put it in places like .mac or Facebook…no big deal here…

  231. Don’t get it….if I put photos, videos etc..on Facebook, I don’t want it available to anyone else…only those I choose to see it…this locked out nonsense is a mute point…if you want it available to the entire internet, you post it on places like YouTube, if you only want it available to some people, you put it in places like .mac or Facebook…no big deal here…

  232. My biggest concern is web elitism. The “Facehoosoft” conglomerate makes the internet privatized like never before. People thrive on being special, and having something that no one else does. This includes information access. I think this will be good news for Facehoosoft, because more people will migrate to the service than ever before. You will have the ability to siphon information to the right people based on who they tell you they are. Versus the internet as it is now, the public information is there whether you are a 5 year old, or a billionaire. But the potential for this merger creates the ability for what you do, who you are, and what your interests are to be tracked, monitored, and judged. Sheesh, and people were afraid of Google, they have know idea what could be coming.

  233. My biggest concern is web elitism. The “Facehoosoft” conglomerate makes the internet privatized like never before. People thrive on being special, and having something that no one else does. This includes information access. I think this will be good news for Facehoosoft, because more people will migrate to the service than ever before. You will have the ability to siphon information to the right people based on who they tell you they are. Versus the internet as it is now, the public information is there whether you are a 5 year old, or a billionaire. But the potential for this merger creates the ability for what you do, who you are, and what your interests are to be tracked, monitored, and judged. Sheesh, and people were afraid of Google, they have know idea what could be coming.

  234. Hey guys,
    I like nothing better than a good rumour and would like to see SOMETHING (anything) happen; to shake Google’s near monopoly on search.

    If this REALLY does happen – it might do it!

    Watch this space…

    Jim Connolly
    The Tech News Blog

  235. Hey guys,
    I like nothing better than a good rumour and would like to see SOMETHING (anything) happen; to shake Google’s near monopoly on search.

    If this REALLY does happen – it might do it!

    Watch this space…

    Jim Connolly
    The Tech News Blog

  236. [...] マイクロソフトがFacebookを欲しがっているという噂が表面に出たのは初めてのことではない。マイクロソフトが最初にYahooとの交渉から退いたとき、次はFacebookだという話もあった。今回噂の内容が異なるのは、Yahooの検索ビジネスとFacebookを組み合わせようとしているとする点だ。Robert Scobleは、そのような組み合わせが開かれたウェブの終焉に繋がり得るという陰謀説を唱えている。Scobleの話のポイントは、Facebook内にあるものは検索にひっかかりにくいが、マイクロソフトがYahooの検索エンジンおよびFacebookの双方を得ることになれば(Googleに対してはデータを秘匿しつつ)ソーシャルネットワーク内のデータを検索結果として扱うことができるようになるというもの。これによってYahooの検索はソーシャルネットワーク内の人々やその関連性についての検索で優位な立場に立ち、したがってこの分野でGoogleに対するアドバンテージを得ることになる。 [...]

  237. [...] Robert Scoble really got the ball rolling when he started theorizing on the synergies of such a deal, primarily that Facebook’s information would help lead to more relevant searches. Also, Google would have no access to all of this information, putting Microsoft at the advantage. [...]

  238. Two things worth pointing out:

    1) Loic Lemeur has 4455 friends, so unless he actively took steps to stop the event creation from his Facebook feed (would be interesting to know either way), this got pushed out to up to 4455 of his friends as an action he took.

    So the comparison with upcoming.com may be apples and oranges.

    2) Facebook pages currently are public and spidered by Google. Presumably that will stay that way. As such, they represent a better way than FB goups, which are not spidered as far as I can tell, and also don’t allow any additional apps other than the default (while pages have the same Discussion and Wall app as the groups). Plus FB groups shut down your “Message All” after you gather more than 1,000 members.

    Check out this Google query for the keyword that I happen to know a coach has both a FB Group and Page for (NOT trying to promote this in any way, just the only example I know where someone has both under the same name).

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22get+paid+for+who+you+are%22&filter=0

    The Page shows, the Group doesn’t. (The link to the Group is on the Page in case you want to verify that it exists.)

  239. Two things worth pointing out:

    1) Loic Lemeur has 4455 friends, so unless he actively took steps to stop the event creation from his Facebook feed (would be interesting to know either way), this got pushed out to up to 4455 of his friends as an action he took.

    So the comparison with upcoming.com may be apples and oranges.

    2) Facebook pages currently are public and spidered by Google. Presumably that will stay that way. As such, they represent a better way than FB goups, which are not spidered as far as I can tell, and also don’t allow any additional apps other than the default (while pages have the same Discussion and Wall app as the groups). Plus FB groups shut down your “Message All” after you gather more than 1,000 members.

    Check out this Google query for the keyword that I happen to know a coach has both a FB Group and Page for (NOT trying to promote this in any way, just the only example I know where someone has both under the same name).

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22get+paid+for+who+you+are%22&filter=0

    The Page shows, the Group doesn’t. (The link to the Group is on the Page in case you want to verify that it exists.)

  240. Buying Facebook would be even a bigger waste of Microsoft shareholders money, neither long-term healthy for the share price, when it devalues so, as you know it will, under Microsoft’s stewardship, but then shareholders have been buffeted around so much that being jacked should be an everyday feeling. It will become Microsoft Facebook Live Spaces and rot its way to nothing, with Dare coming back, ready to hose all doubters down, with his usual clap of misleading statistics.

    Link bait, nothing more, as it’s dry on the press beat, and the real money-making “web” action will be Microsoft-hosted versions of Exchange and SharePoint and various other subscription-based services,

    Your geeky-myopia, misses the real big picture, but in all reality Microsoft should exit stage left on advertising-based internet, and anything in the consumer space, but they keep lining up for a hit, time and time again, drunk on the failure philosophy, that more tries equals eventual success.

    I’d worry more about Red Hat, Fedora 9 and KDE4 and ilk, as Linux us now doable for the Enterprise desktop, imho. Very few shops, don’t actually love (or even much like) Microsoft, it’s just that they haven’t had much alternative. They do now. This whole Google/Yahoo obsession is a cancer.

  241. Buying Facebook would be even a bigger waste of Microsoft shareholders money, neither long-term healthy for the share price, when it devalues so, as you know it will, under Microsoft’s stewardship, but then shareholders have been buffeted around so much that being jacked should be an everyday feeling. It will become Microsoft Facebook Live Spaces and rot its way to nothing, with Dare coming back, ready to hose all doubters down, with his usual clap of misleading statistics.

    Link bait, nothing more, as it’s dry on the press beat, and the real money-making “web” action will be Microsoft-hosted versions of Exchange and SharePoint and various other subscription-based services,

    Your geeky-myopia, misses the real big picture, but in all reality Microsoft should exit stage left on advertising-based internet, and anything in the consumer space, but they keep lining up for a hit, time and time again, drunk on the failure philosophy, that more tries equals eventual success.

    I’d worry more about Red Hat, Fedora 9 and KDE4 and ilk, as Linux us now doable for the Enterprise desktop, imho. Very few shops, don’t actually love (or even much like) Microsoft, it’s just that they haven’t had much alternative. They do now. This whole Google/Yahoo obsession is a cancer.

  242. Fantastic article which was very thought provoking.. However, what i’ve noticed in my social work circle is that the Facebook tide has come in and its also left.

    Sure facebook may be conquering the world and signing-up everyone who has a computer.. But after 3 months are people still using it as intensively as when they signed up, i bet no.

    Sure people still log in occassionally, and maybe even daily, but live in it like they once did, well nope.

    And to the root of the problem (where facebook become unstuck) its trying to be all things to all people. There are so many different bells and whistles in there, that:

    a) i can’t figure out how to do the simple stuff.
    b) there is so many distractions and changes that i can’t keep up

    but in the time when the tide was coming in around me, it was either facebook or myspace.. facebook looked far simpler, far more straight forward. fast forward 12 months… uggg facebook has become a nightmare to use. hence i use it less and less.

    so the argument that everyone is shifting into the facebook box just doesn’t wash with me and my experience. people still search on the outside, they still visit sites of interest on the outside, they still IM on the outside, they still email on the outside, they still twitter on the outside.

    facebook is looking more and more like a new secondlife… the hype machine is telling us its the new world to live in, but the more we look at it, the more people like the existing world.

  243. Fantastic article which was very thought provoking.. However, what i’ve noticed in my social work circle is that the Facebook tide has come in and its also left.

    Sure facebook may be conquering the world and signing-up everyone who has a computer.. But after 3 months are people still using it as intensively as when they signed up, i bet no.

    Sure people still log in occassionally, and maybe even daily, but live in it like they once did, well nope.

    And to the root of the problem (where facebook become unstuck) its trying to be all things to all people. There are so many different bells and whistles in there, that:

    a) i can’t figure out how to do the simple stuff.
    b) there is so many distractions and changes that i can’t keep up

    but in the time when the tide was coming in around me, it was either facebook or myspace.. facebook looked far simpler, far more straight forward. fast forward 12 months… uggg facebook has become a nightmare to use. hence i use it less and less.

    so the argument that everyone is shifting into the facebook box just doesn’t wash with me and my experience. people still search on the outside, they still visit sites of interest on the outside, they still IM on the outside, they still email on the outside, they still twitter on the outside.

    facebook is looking more and more like a new secondlife… the hype machine is telling us its the new world to live in, but the more we look at it, the more people like the existing world.

  244. first: let’s all take a deep breath and remember that this post is 100% speculation by someone with no inside knowledge. it’s all hot air at this point. microsoft hasn’t bought anything yet.

    second: facebook content can’t be accessed by google. so what? if you want your videos, photos, etc to be searchable by google, don’t put them all on facebook. is that too obvious? on the other hand, it’s nice to have a place where I can pick who gets to see this stuff. isn’t that what a social network is supposed to be about?

    third: why would facebook sell? they’re not a public company. microsoft can’t make a hostile offer. zuckerberg is, what, 12 years old? not exactly ready to retire. when facebook goes public, he’ll be a billionaire. if microsoft buys fb, he’ll be a billionaire. I think he’d rather be a billionaire who runs his own show, not one who’s a lackey to ballmer.

    fourth: let’s say by some random confluence of events scoble is actually right and microsoft does buy fb, just to keep all its user content away from google. and that means…. what, exactly? that all 60+ million fb users are now slaves to microsoft? or that those of us who’ve seen what msft does to companies it acquires will simply pack up our photos, videos, and throwing sheep and bring them to the next site?

    quick show of hands: how many of you out there who have facebook profiles also have profiles on myspace, linked in, friendster, plaxo, etc etc? I do. is this suddenly going to change? I no think so.

    really folks, chill out. there’s plenty of actual tech news to think about without going off on breathless speculation.

    dan tynan
    tynan on technology

  245. first: let’s all take a deep breath and remember that this post is 100% speculation by someone with no inside knowledge. it’s all hot air at this point. microsoft hasn’t bought anything yet.

    second: facebook content can’t be accessed by google. so what? if you want your videos, photos, etc to be searchable by google, don’t put them all on facebook. is that too obvious? on the other hand, it’s nice to have a place where I can pick who gets to see this stuff. isn’t that what a social network is supposed to be about?

    third: why would facebook sell? they’re not a public company. microsoft can’t make a hostile offer. zuckerberg is, what, 12 years old? not exactly ready to retire. when facebook goes public, he’ll be a billionaire. if microsoft buys fb, he’ll be a billionaire. I think he’d rather be a billionaire who runs his own show, not one who’s a lackey to ballmer.

    fourth: let’s say by some random confluence of events scoble is actually right and microsoft does buy fb, just to keep all its user content away from google. and that means…. what, exactly? that all 60+ million fb users are now slaves to microsoft? or that those of us who’ve seen what msft does to companies it acquires will simply pack up our photos, videos, and throwing sheep and bring them to the next site?

    quick show of hands: how many of you out there who have facebook profiles also have profiles on myspace, linked in, friendster, plaxo, etc etc? I do. is this suddenly going to change? I no think so.

    really folks, chill out. there’s plenty of actual tech news to think about without going off on breathless speculation.

    dan tynan
    tynan on technology

  246. FLVentureBlog > Microsoft, Facebook and Twispers…

    Do you remember playing Whispers, Operator, Telephone or Chinese Whispers (UK) — where one person whispers a phrase to another person, who whispers it another person…until the last person hears something significantly distorted from the original p…..

  247. this sounds like a board game strategy, not reality.
    the idea that this all comes down to a web schism between microsoft and google for access to social data seems off base…. even if you can make sense of the logic.

  248. this sounds like a board game strategy, not reality.
    the idea that this all comes down to a web schism between microsoft and google for access to social data seems off base…. even if you can make sense of the logic.

  249. I am amazed at the number of sites that are trying to close themselves to Google, but opened to MS. For example, direct launcher is a site that was suppose to showcase a new rocket that we should go to. But they built the site and made it show up only decent on MSIE and would not allow Google to index them. Since these folks can not create a decent site, and can not open it, then I figure that they are not capable of doing a decent rocket. Too bad for them.

  250. I am amazed at the number of sites that are trying to close themselves to Google, but opened to MS. For example, direct launcher is a site that was suppose to showcase a new rocket that we should go to. But they built the site and made it show up only decent on MSIE and would not allow Google to index them. Since these folks can not create a decent site, and can not open it, then I figure that they are not capable of doing a decent rocket. Too bad for them.

  251. Largest repository of videos!? I thought it’s YouTube. I have never gone to a Facebook page to watch a video.

    I am sick and tired of news about Facebook. I became a member and it provided little value. So I get friends writing on my wall, poke me at the stuff.

    What’s the value of all this nonsense? It’s seems it’s a site for a kind of entertainment, for young people to hang out. It doesn’t provide value that’s worth searching by an external search engine like Google.

    Personally I also dislike any site that provides content by joining only.
    I get an email from someone telling my to watch his kids’ photos and the link asks me to join. I hate this. Yes I am talking about sites like Flickr.
    Then these sites boost about their membership numbers. Yes.. they did it by ‘forcing’ people to join to use their services.

    If sites like Facebook go away, I won’t miss anything.

  252. Largest repository of videos!? I thought it’s YouTube. I have never gone to a Facebook page to watch a video.

    I am sick and tired of news about Facebook. I became a member and it provided little value. So I get friends writing on my wall, poke me at the stuff.

    What’s the value of all this nonsense? It’s seems it’s a site for a kind of entertainment, for young people to hang out. It doesn’t provide value that’s worth searching by an external search engine like Google.

    Personally I also dislike any site that provides content by joining only.
    I get an email from someone telling my to watch his kids’ photos and the link asks me to join. I hate this. Yes I am talking about sites like Flickr.
    Then these sites boost about their membership numbers. Yes.. they did it by ‘forcing’ people to join to use their services.

    If sites like Facebook go away, I won’t miss anything.

  253. Scoble, you are on the money with this post. I doubt microsoft’s strategy is as starkly defined as you’re defining it. But search and closed systems are going to be changing how we use the web on a scale similar to how google changed how we use the rest of the internet.

  254. Scoble, you are on the money with this post. I doubt microsoft’s strategy is as starkly defined as you’re defining it. But search and closed systems are going to be changing how we use the web on a scale similar to how google changed how we use the rest of the internet.

  255. It’s not such a big deal. Facebook (and probably all social networks) are tied to generations. Basically, which teenager wants to be on the same social network with their parents? Besides, just because you could search (the maybe Microsoft owned) Facebook with (the maybe Microsoft owned) Yahoo, it does not make the Microsoft a better search engine for the rest of the web.

  256. It’s not such a big deal. Facebook (and probably all social networks) are tied to generations. Basically, which teenager wants to be on the same social network with their parents? Besides, just because you could search (the maybe Microsoft owned) Facebook with (the maybe Microsoft owned) Yahoo, it does not make the Microsoft a better search engine for the rest of the web.

  257. Hi Robert,

    If this happens, you know it’ll be your fault for having evangelised FaceBook so much :p

    All social networks, to date, are a backwards step to ye olde days of Delphi, Aol, compuserve, they are a closed world, if you join them, you deserve being at their mercy, just like those people who helped create the monster of ebay!

    On the other hand, this would leap-frog others, and generally piss off google because this is exactly what it’s been working towards, building all these new services over the last 5 years, to create a data-depositary that it can then mine and exploit, across our whole digital lives.

    The reason why there is some differentiation from the pre-web1.0 era is because we now have developer platforms, and liquidity, which means that there are some sieve-like gaps to access data, and for new demanded features to be made available dynamically without mobile-like cumbersome agreements and approvals, and thanks to you and your 5000 friends, enough users to allow it to not only sustain itself but continue to grow at every point of impact/touch.

    However, in a world of 2 Billion mobile hand-sets, the people who could show a thing to the kids, if only they had the hunger, are the the Vodafone’s and Telefonica’s of the world.

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

  258. Hi Robert,

    If this happens, you know it’ll be your fault for having evangelised FaceBook so much :p

    All social networks, to date, are a backwards step to ye olde days of Delphi, Aol, compuserve, they are a closed world, if you join them, you deserve being at their mercy, just like those people who helped create the monster of ebay!

    On the other hand, this would leap-frog others, and generally piss off google because this is exactly what it’s been working towards, building all these new services over the last 5 years, to create a data-depositary that it can then mine and exploit, across our whole digital lives.

    The reason why there is some differentiation from the pre-web1.0 era is because we now have developer platforms, and liquidity, which means that there are some sieve-like gaps to access data, and for new demanded features to be made available dynamically without mobile-like cumbersome agreements and approvals, and thanks to you and your 5000 friends, enough users to allow it to not only sustain itself but continue to grow at every point of impact/touch.

    However, in a world of 2 Billion mobile hand-sets, the people who could show a thing to the kids, if only they had the hunger, are the the Vodafone’s and Telefonica’s of the world.

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

  259. really interesting post robert. what really struck me was how powerful the facebook News Feed is and how engaged the facebook audience with their connections. Like you ive maxed out at 5000 facebook friends and in a world with dwindling attention the ability to get focus without being intrusive is everything.

  260. really interesting post robert. what really struck me was how powerful the facebook News Feed is and how engaged the facebook audience with their connections. Like you ive maxed out at 5000 facebook friends and in a world with dwindling attention the ability to get focus without being intrusive is everything.

  261. Facebook’s “closed” system is the future of that kind of website. It’s kind of obvious that it’s not for everyone, just certain kinds of sites.

  262. Facebook’s “closed” system is the future of that kind of website. It’s kind of obvious that it’s not for everyone, just certain kinds of sites.

  263. Sir,

    re; It’s Facebook and Microsoft vs. the open public Web.

    I think you underestimate how big the internet is. Today there are in the region of 6.6 billion people with access to the internet. I believe there are in the region of 70 million people using facebook which is in the region of 0.01 percent of the total web population. For arguments sake lets assume that MS ‘own’ 4.5 percent of the web the combined entity is 5 percent (MS and Facebook) vs the Open Web at 95 percent. I think I know who the winner might be.

    Yes Facebook and MS may be in the forefront of most tech minded and the tech elite but in the real scheme of things they hardly register.

    Its a bit like those annoying Twitter conversartions 99.999999999999 percent of the webs population have never even heard of Twitter but the tech elite just keep banging on about it as if it were something important.

    jeez

    Jason
    Paris

  264. Sir,

    re; It’s Facebook and Microsoft vs. the open public Web.

    I think you underestimate how big the internet is. Today there are in the region of 6.6 billion people with access to the internet. I believe there are in the region of 70 million people using facebook which is in the region of 0.01 percent of the total web population. For arguments sake lets assume that MS ‘own’ 4.5 percent of the web the combined entity is 5 percent (MS and Facebook) vs the Open Web at 95 percent. I think I know who the winner might be.

    Yes Facebook and MS may be in the forefront of most tech minded and the tech elite but in the real scheme of things they hardly register.

    Its a bit like those annoying Twitter conversartions 99.999999999999 percent of the webs population have never even heard of Twitter but the tech elite just keep banging on about it as if it were something important.

    jeez

    Jason
    Paris

  265. oops..

    “For arguments sake lets assume that MS ‘own’ 4.5 percent of the web the combined entity is 5 percent (MS and Facebook) vs the Open Web at 95 percent. I think I know who the winner might be.”

    of course I meant “For arguments sake lets assume that MS ‘own’ 4.99 percent”

    Im sure you got the picture though.

    Jason

  266. oops..

    “For arguments sake lets assume that MS ‘own’ 4.5 percent of the web the combined entity is 5 percent (MS and Facebook) vs the Open Web at 95 percent. I think I know who the winner might be.”

    of course I meant “For arguments sake lets assume that MS ‘own’ 4.99 percent”

    Im sure you got the picture though.

    Jason

  267. [...] Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Why Microsoft will buy Facebook and keep it closed … Hmm. How seriously should I treat this? On the one hand, paranoia and conspiracy theory. On the other hand…Well, it’s Microsoft. And members of my team have been chucked off FB before now. (tags: friendfeed dataportability microsoft facebook) [...]

  268. This suddenly makes the Facebook platform that much more interesting to developers. Facebook already has one of the most robust session-based SMS platforms out there. This could be Microsoft’s step to getting into mobile social networks too and controlling the third screen.

  269. This suddenly makes the Facebook platform that much more interesting to developers. Facebook already has one of the most robust session-based SMS platforms out there. This could be Microsoft’s step to getting into mobile social networks too and controlling the third screen.

  270. [...] too old school to last for much longer – although it could take down the walls if it wanted to. Scoble thinks this is precisely the reason that Microsoft is interested in them – the walls prevent Google from getting in but if they were part of the Borg Microsoft [...]

  271. Can we STOP with THE ALL CAPS for EMPHASIS, Robert?

    Holy god it’s annoying to be cyber-yelled like like we’re all idiots who can’t see what’s important for ourselves.

    Good writers don’t need italics, let alone caps, to convey their tone or their message. It’s a crutch.

  272. Can we STOP with THE ALL CAPS for EMPHASIS, Robert?

    Holy god it’s annoying to be cyber-yelled like like we’re all idiots who can’t see what’s important for ourselves.

    Good writers don’t need italics, let alone caps, to convey their tone or their message. It’s a crutch.

  273. [...] Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Why Microsoft will buy Facebook and keep it closed … I’m hearing these rumors too that John Furrier (my ex-boss) is reporting. That Microsoft will buy Yahoo’s search and then buy Facebook for $15 to $20 billion. Add that to all the news that Microsoft is buying Yahoo’s search and that gets very interesting. [...]

  274. Thanks for this! I read a similar article elsewhere, only this one has more “sidenotes” that make it MUCH more interesting. If I had wished Google had bought Facebook earlier… now I’m begging Google to buy Facebook. I’ve got an account there, which helps me keep in touch with family and friends. And I’ve got an incredible disliking for Microsoft. But do Flickr and Yahoo Q&A have to go as well? This would be a rather saddening move for it may cause a shift from Facebook to another Social Network..

  275. Thanks for this! I read a similar article elsewhere, only this one has more “sidenotes” that make it MUCH more interesting. If I had wished Google had bought Facebook earlier… now I’m begging Google to buy Facebook. I’ve got an account there, which helps me keep in touch with family and friends. And I’ve got an incredible disliking for Microsoft. But do Flickr and Yahoo Q&A have to go as well? This would be a rather saddening move for it may cause a shift from Facebook to another Social Network..

  276. For anyone who thinks the deal won’t happen because Facebook is overvalued, think…AOL+Time Warner.

    This might be a pain in the short run, but long term look at how well AOL is doing these days. My experience tells me that people will abandon a service that becomes too much of a pain in the ass to use. If they abandon the content there? Well, calendars have limited historical value. Photos had to be digital to get there in the first place. Same for videos.

    Frankly, the only value I see there is if M$ offered search for Web + Facebook where others were just ordinary web.

    Also, if you think that Microsoft is just a SOFTWARE company, do some reading. They’re charging hard into the advertising market. It remains to be seen if they stumble or break through.

  277. For anyone who thinks the deal won’t happen because Facebook is overvalued, think…AOL+Time Warner.

    This might be a pain in the short run, but long term look at how well AOL is doing these days. My experience tells me that people will abandon a service that becomes too much of a pain in the ass to use. If they abandon the content there? Well, calendars have limited historical value. Photos had to be digital to get there in the first place. Same for videos.

    Frankly, the only value I see there is if M$ offered search for Web + Facebook where others were just ordinary web.

    Also, if you think that Microsoft is just a SOFTWARE company, do some reading. They’re charging hard into the advertising market. It remains to be seen if they stumble or break through.

  278. MSFT being the new AOL or Compuserve as Andrew, #2 stated above?
    That would be just GREAT, whether they disappear completely or from the open(ed) web. At least, I won’t have any effort to do to avoid them :)

  279. MSFT being the new AOL or Compuserve as Andrew, #2 stated above?
    That would be just GREAT, whether they disappear completely or from the open(ed) web. At least, I won’t have any effort to do to avoid them :)

  280. Oh great, Microsoft buys a behemoth partially funded by the CIA and with lots of ex-CIA people as exec’s.

    I can hear the conspiracy theory geeks gearing up already … ;)

  281. Oh great, Microsoft buys a behemoth partially funded by the CIA and with lots of ex-CIA people as exec’s.

    I can hear the conspiracy theory geeks gearing up already … ;)

  282. If this all comes together what you’re saying really does make sense. This is one of the only things that to me makes any sense why Microsoft would be interested in either company, other than advertising. Great view.

  283. If this all comes together what you’re saying really does make sense. This is one of the only things that to me makes any sense why Microsoft would be interested in either company, other than advertising. Great view.

  284. Yeah, I’m not buying it. What was the big social network 18 months ago? Not Facebook. How about 18 months before that? Not MySpace. Facebook has no permanence, just like MySpace stopped being the cool kid before that, Friendster and Live Journal before that, and so on and so on.

    Facebook will stop being the cool kid on the block in another year, and you’ll be pimping the latest/greatest new thing right here on this blog. Then everyone will flock to whatever it is and leave Facebook behind.

  285. Yeah, I’m not buying it. What was the big social network 18 months ago? Not Facebook. How about 18 months before that? Not MySpace. Facebook has no permanence, just like MySpace stopped being the cool kid before that, Friendster and Live Journal before that, and so on and so on.

    Facebook will stop being the cool kid on the block in another year, and you’ll be pimping the latest/greatest new thing right here on this blog. Then everyone will flock to whatever it is and leave Facebook behind.

  286. I’m a little late finding this article, but I loved it. A classic example of Google getting manipulated by an outside source just like their PR system. If this is Microsoft’s ultimate goal though, I think they will be disappointed with their investment in the long run. It would simply be a small territorial win for an ever expanding playing field.

  287. I’m a little late finding this article, but I loved it. A classic example of Google getting manipulated by an outside source just like their PR system. If this is Microsoft’s ultimate goal though, I think they will be disappointed with their investment in the long run. It would simply be a small territorial win for an ever expanding playing field.

  288. [...] can still be filled–such vulnerability was written about by Robert Scoble on his post about Google’s bots not accessing Facebook’s data, and how that can be exploited by Microsoft. Then yesterday, Malaysian Internet columnist Oon Yeoh [...]

  289. On the short term business side this makes total sense for MS. But what next? MS has tried to grab the web and make it theirs so many times and has always failed. I would even go so far to say that Microsoft’s current desperate situation is a result of that history.

    The web and it’s users gravitate towards openness and no-one really likes the web to be dominated by one force. We thought it was over when MS killed Netscape (remember browserwars). Then we thought it was over again wen push technologies came along where a few channels would dominate the majority of all content distribution. We even thought there was no space for another search engine before Google surfaced (remember the search ‘giant’ Altavista) …

    Now is a post MS acquisition Facebook going to turn into the next altavista? I don’t know but what I do know is that there are lot’s of little Zuckerbergs out there waiting to do to FB what Google did to Altavista and MS would have to be darn clever (and not evil) to prevent that from happening.

    So I think you got that one wrong, the end of the open web is not in sight for a ling time.

    Peter
    do you follow me @ http://twitter.com/peterurban

  290. On the short term business side this makes total sense for MS. But what next? MS has tried to grab the web and make it theirs so many times and has always failed. I would even go so far to say that Microsoft’s current desperate situation is a result of that history.

    The web and it’s users gravitate towards openness and no-one really likes the web to be dominated by one force. We thought it was over when MS killed Netscape (remember browserwars). Then we thought it was over again wen push technologies came along where a few channels would dominate the majority of all content distribution. We even thought there was no space for another search engine before Google surfaced (remember the search ‘giant’ Altavista) …

    Now is a post MS acquisition Facebook going to turn into the next altavista? I don’t know but what I do know is that there are lot’s of little Zuckerbergs out there waiting to do to FB what Google did to Altavista and MS would have to be darn clever (and not evil) to prevent that from happening.

    So I think you got that one wrong, the end of the open web is not in sight for a ling time.

    Peter
    do you follow me @ http://twitter.com/peterurban

  291. Robert,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I would respectfully disagree with your analysis.

    1) Closeness and Propertiory protocol does not work on the Web. Microsoft has burnt enough and now seems to understand that well. That’s one of the reasons they have recently made all their proprietory protocols (such as FPRPC and MSDav ) public.

    2) Facebook is not as proven as wikipedia. I won’t switch my search engine to MSN or Yahoo just because they shows me the profiles from facebook. People will create there profile somewhere else if they don’t show up.

    Also, I believe all SN sites will give some kind of option to the user if they want their profile to be searchble by BOTS and search engine. If they don’t, its a big privacy issue. And if they do, searching SN is no different than a blog search. Its another mean to the end.

    Thanks and keep posting and twittering
    Sheetal
    http://www.docstree.com

  292. Robert,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I would respectfully disagree with your analysis.

    1) Closeness and Propertiory protocol does not work on the Web. Microsoft has burnt enough and now seems to understand that well. That’s one of the reasons they have recently made all their proprietory protocols (such as FPRPC and MSDav ) public.

    2) Facebook is not as proven as wikipedia. I won’t switch my search engine to MSN or Yahoo just because they shows me the profiles from facebook. People will create there profile somewhere else if they don’t show up.

    Also, I believe all SN sites will give some kind of option to the user if they want their profile to be searchble by BOTS and search engine. If they don’t, its a big privacy issue. And if they do, searching SN is no different than a blog search. Its another mean to the end.

    Thanks and keep posting and twittering
    Sheetal
    http://www.docstree.com

  293. Look, pal. Data on the internet = value. The more data you gather, the more chances of making money off it. Google goes to Facebook basically saying, “Look sucker, you don’t know how to make money of your data so let our search engine handle it to produce more search results and therefore more ads revenue for US, how about that?” Facebook replies, “Fine, go spit.” It’s Facebook own chance to make money. They don’t want Google to profit off it. No one does. That’s all there’s to it. Is it too hard to understand?

  294. Look, pal. Data on the internet = value. The more data you gather, the more chances of making money off it. Google goes to Facebook basically saying, “Look sucker, you don’t know how to make money of your data so let our search engine handle it to produce more search results and therefore more ads revenue for US, how about that?” Facebook replies, “Fine, go spit.” It’s Facebook own chance to make money. They don’t want Google to profit off it. No one does. That’s all there’s to it. Is it too hard to understand?

  295. Another thing to ponder Robert (apologies if someone has mentioned this above – I’m not going through 271 comments).

    At some point Microsoft will be able to intersperse results from a user’s Live Mesh in with regular web search results. You can imagine a checkbox at http://search.live.com saying “search my Mesh”. I think that would be much more distruptive than searching Facebook.

    -Jamie

  296. Another thing to ponder Robert (apologies if someone has mentioned this above – I’m not going through 271 comments).

    At some point Microsoft will be able to intersperse results from a user’s Live Mesh in with regular web search results. You can imagine a checkbox at http://search.live.com saying “search my Mesh”. I think that would be much more distruptive than searching Facebook.

    -Jamie

  297. Just posted a response to this post on my blog:

    http://dayofideas.com/?p=5

    This writer, in particular, has found extreme value in the closed off web that Facebook cultivates. I enjoy being able to interact with the vast network of my social history in a private and none-searchable arena. I enjoy and find value in being able to communicate intimacies, daily life, plans, and stupidities in a digital playground that his neatly tucked out of reach from the tendrils of Google.

  298. Just posted a response to this post on my blog:

    http://dayofideas.com/?p=5

    This writer, in particular, has found extreme value in the closed off web that Facebook cultivates. I enjoy being able to interact with the vast network of my social history in a private and none-searchable arena. I enjoy and find value in being able to communicate intimacies, daily life, plans, and stupidities in a digital playground that his neatly tucked out of reach from the tendrils of Google.

  299. Makes sense. There is so much information out there, many people just want a nice cozy walled garden.

  300. Makes sense. There is so much information out there, many people just want a nice cozy walled garden.

  301. Facebook has the largest collection of photos and videos precisely because it is closed. Most people, in addition to the work of migrating data, won’t post the stuff elsewhere because the don’t WANT the whole world to be able to see it – just their friends, the people they give permission to. For event calendars, I think the market’s open for a new player to steal facebook’s thunder (there’s a lot of room for improvement, and searchability is just one part of the equation).

  302. Facebook has the largest collection of photos and videos precisely because it is closed. Most people, in addition to the work of migrating data, won’t post the stuff elsewhere because the don’t WANT the whole world to be able to see it – just their friends, the people they give permission to. For event calendars, I think the market’s open for a new player to steal facebook’s thunder (there’s a lot of room for improvement, and searchability is just one part of the equation).

  303. So instead of the world having my data on facebook, MS owns it. I'm not really liking either of them having it since they both with exploit, much the way facebook does already. The thing to think about is that if MS owns the data instead of someone writing a couple scripts to data mine the web for any of my personal info, they are going to have to pay MS for it. One thing MS is very good at is charging and arm and leg for anything they own making the barrier to getting mine and everyone else's data that much harder. The people who need to see the data will, those who want access just need to ask.

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