Israeli Application Brings Together Rivals Facebook and Google+
Barely a week after Google introduced its new Google+ service, designed to compete with Facebook, an Israeli startup has developed an application that lets users view their Facebook streams on the new Google offering. The application, called Google+Facebook, is an extension for popular browsers Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. And, according to Koby Menachemi, the CEO of Crossrider, the company that developed the extension, over 100,000 have downloaded it since it came out last week.
In an interview with Reuters, Menachemi said that the company created it “in less than a day. The product is not perfect, yet you can view (Facebook) streams and update your status” while using Google+.
Google launched the new social networking platform to much fanfare several weeks ago, and pundits and reviewers have been debating the advantages and disadvantages of each. Facebook has 750 million users, a number Google hopes to approach within the next year.
Instead of dropping Facebook, it's more likely that users would want to use both. Unfortunately the two services cannot be fully integrated (importing users from to Google+ from Facebook would violate the latter's terms of service), so Google+Facebook does the next best thing – displaying users' Facebook pages in Google+. Menachemi says that the extension is a lot more popular than he expected – proving that users really do want the best of both worlds. "We didn't do any PR. It was just one tweet (on Twitter) and one Facebook share and people picked it up," Menachemi said.
Not all users are enamored of the extension, though, with some calling it “malware” (a badly behaved program that could lead to security breaches) because of the way it accesses information in your browser. Menachemi said that he naturally disagrees – but with the extension free and easily removed, users can easily backtrack if necessary.