Photo: Jakob Steinschaden
Launched just this summer, Google+ already has 25 million users.*It’s putting a scare into people at Facebook, apparently.
According to an answer up-voted by at least one Facebook engineer on Q&A site Quora, Facebook engineers are in an official “lockdown” mode right now – and they’re taking it very seriously because of the Google+ threat.
Here’s the question and the answer:
Q: Has Facebook gone into lockdown mode in response to Google+? I’ve heard from a reliable source that Facebook has gone into lockdown and cancelled various summer events in response to Google+.
A: I work with Facebook engineering, and I can say the answer is kind of, not exactly, maybe, sure. We are in lockdown. It’s official; you can see the lockdown sign lit up in the offices. It’s no secret. However, the first suggestion I saw of a lockdown was a week before G+ came out. It was posted on an internal group and had over 50 likes when I stopped paying attention.
The inspiration for that suggestion was the massive feature rollout that each team was starting to peak on for the feature rollout season. When Zuckerberg was asked about a lockdown after everyone got psyched up for it (and soon after G+’s debut), he pointed out that they could stay weekends anyway if they wanted to, and nobody ate the free food on weekends last time around.
The lockdown meme was certainly present, but it didn’t have legs, at least not to Zuck, until people got worried about Google+’s progress.
What’s a “lockdown,” by the way?
Sources tell All Things D’s Liz Gannes that it is “a self-imposed period of intensive product development.”
We’ll see if the hysteria does Facebook any good.
Facebook also went into a “lockdown” in August 2010. Out of that came Facebook Places and Facebook Groups.
*That’s a bit of a silly statistic, isn’t it? Google+ is really just another Google.com feature, and Google.com already has about 180 million unique users in the US alone.