Facebook's PR Firm Peddles Anti-Google Stories

Facebook vs. Google is shaping up as the biggest tech battle-royale since Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs.

The most recent round of action, according to Dan Lyons at The Daily Beast, is that Facebook hired a PR firm to pitch negative Google stories to the media -- specifically to target Google's privacy standards.

The firm, Burson-Marsteller, alleged Google was invading users' privacy. Burson, also offered to "help an influential blogger" write a post that they could get placed in The Washington Post, Politico and The Huffington Post.

The blogger (gasp) turned on Burson, sharing the emails with the interwebs. Then USA Today accused Burson of a "whisper campaign" for an unnamed client.

Must have been Microsoft, right? Probably Apple, then?

Nope: Facebook.

Confirmed Wednesday night by a FB spokesman, according to Silicon Alley Insider. The social network has two reasons: they believe Google's social networking really should raise privacy concerns; and that Google using Facebook data in the former's service isn't cool.

At the heart of the matter is Facebook is, for many users, the new dot-com -- how people use (and see advertising) online -- once Google's mantle. Now, with Social Circle, Google is attempting to eat into the social pie that is largely Facebook.

Facebook says Google is using its data as Google expands into "secondary connections" feature of friends-of-friends in Social Circle.

All that data leads to increasingly exact and targeted advertisments to users -- an incredible amount of online advertising money is at stake as the two Valley giants continute to compete.

So it's largely about revenue, but also about two willful, brilliant CEOs, too: Larry Page at Google and Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook.

Maybe it's more of a redux of Gates /slash/ Jobs, after all.

Contact Us