“I am more worried than I have been in the past … it’s scary,” said Google co-founder Sergey Brin an interview with the Guardian. Brin is talking about the Walled Gardens of Facebook and Apple and how they are serious threats to the open Internet. He said that Facebook and Apple are stifling innovation and risk balkanizing the Web, and went as far as to say that Google would never have come into existence if Facebook were dominant.
“You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive. The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the web was so open. Once you get too many rules that will stifle innovation.”
Of course, the more obvious reasons would be that he would like to make all the information inside Facebook and Apple apps accessible to Google’s search engine. Both platforms are internal networks and social networks are typically closed in nature. An open Web is certainly very good for the world which is ultimately good for Google’s bottom line hence the reason for Google+. Although that network has a long way to go to, Facebook is continuing the momentum thanks to its recent purchase of the mobile photo-sharing app, Instagram. On the other end of the table, you have Apple, which is continuing to take the proprietary route making them arguable the most valued company in the world. And that, of course, is the current war going on in the mobile arena – another area critical to Google’s business success.
Brin also complained about Facebook making it difficult for users to move their data to other services, presumably Google+. “Facebook has been sucking down Gmail contacts for many years,” he said. “If you compare the internet to the physical world, there really aren’t any walls between countries,” continued Brin. “If Canada wanted to send tanks into the US there is nothing stopping them and it’s the same on the internet. It’s hopeless to try to control the internet.”
What do you think? Is Apple and Facebook really a threat or is Google just setting their own backdrop to get the sympathy vote from its users.