Google CEO Larry Page said in a recent interview with Wired magazine that Facebook is doing a “really bad job with its products”. Page did not elaborate on the reasons why he thinks so, nor did he name any products. Page, who generally claims Google is not affected by competition, levelled direct criticism at Facebook for probably the first time.
Google CEO Larry Page criticises Facebook
The interview apparently took place before Facebook Graph Search was launched. Facebook's newest search feature being rolled out to its users is claimed to be a semantic search conducted using the data available within Facebook. Google+ as a social network hasn’t yet found the success that Facebook has, but Google claims that Google+ is a social layer on its products rather than a social network. The popularity of Orkut, Google's social networking service, never levelled up to that of Facebook and Google Wave never took off. Page said in the interview that Google is happy with the way Google+ is and that it has a different approach to Google+ than Facebook has to its social network. He even said that Google’s “competitors” have copied a lot of its work.
This is the exact question posed to Page by Wired’s Steven Levy:
Wired: One area where people say that Google is indeed motivated by competition is the social realm, where in the past two years you have been working hard in a field dominated by a single rival, Facebook. That’s not the case?
Page: It’s not the way I think about it. We had real issues with how our users shared information, how they expressed their identity, and so on. And, yeah, they’re a company that’s strong in that space. But they’re also doing a really bad job on their products. For us to succeed, is it necessary for some other company to fail? No. We’re actually doing something different. I think it’s outrageous to say that there’s only space for one company in these areas. When we started with search, everyone said, “You guys are gonna fail, there’s already five search companies.” We said, “We are a search company, but we’re doing something different.” That’s how I see all these areas.
The interview touched upon several topics such as Google’s decision to buy Android, the Google X department that is focussed on moonshot projects such as autonomous cars, litigation over patent and copyright infringement (as in the case of Motorola Mobility and Google Books respectively). Page indicated that Google could grow to be a million employees strong and also retain its onus on innovation, moonshot thinking, success, and ambitious ideas.