Here's How Paranoid Google STILL Is About Facebook

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Photo: College humour

Google researcher Paul Adams gave a public presentation and published a slide deck about the importance of social networking more than a year ago.One of the core ideas in that presentation was that people organise their real-life social networks in discrete groups — I don’t want my coworkers and bosses looking at the pictures of the wild party I attended last weekend, and I don’t want relative strangers looking at pictures of my kids running through the sprinkler.

Adams wrote a book about the idea in collaboration with Google called Social Circles, and in June 2010 Google gave him permission to publish it.

Then news about Google+ (then rumoured to be called Google Me) began to leak.

According to a blog post from Adams this week, Google freaked out and took back its permission in July.

Adams eventually got frustrated with bureaucracy at Google and the general lack of respect paid to researchers — as he says. “Google is an engineering company, and as a researcher or designer, it’s very difficult to have your voice heard at a strategic level.” So he left for Facebook last December, where he’s working on its ad platform.

Now, Google+ has launched. But amazingly, Adams claims, Google still hasn’t given him permission to publish. As he explains:

Now that Google+ has launched, I honestly can’t see why they don’t respond to my emails requesting permission to publish. The book contains no proprietary information, it is based almost entirely on research from 3rd parties (mostly universities) and any Google research referenced is already in the public domain.

So he’s writing a new book instead.

It’s more evidence of how freaked out Google is about Facebook, and how much the company believes it has riding on Google+.

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