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Innovation

Google vs. Facebook: Drawing the battle lines

Google's trying to hit Facebook where it hurts, and Facebook is snapping up patents that may make Google's social-media aims harder to achieve.
Written by Caroline McCarthy, Contributor on

There's a requisite chaos to the "hacker culture" that has been central to the rise of both Google and Facebook: cobble something together, fueled by Red Bull and pizza, until it works; keep changing it and improving it, lest a competitor jump in and create something better; and if for some reason it doesn't work, just do away with it altogether. From both the inside and the outside, it can look quite messy.

Take, for example, the fact that Google has been known to tweak its search algorithm hundreds of times per year, or that the Facebook home page goes through major facelifts on a regular basis. This week, Google killed an experimental social-collaboration project called Wave that had been heavily hyped at launch; last month, Facebook's "Gift Shop" feature got the ax. That slash-and-burn, change-the-system mentality that a Valley superstar like Google or Facebook projects to the outside world applies internally, too.

For more on this story, read Google vs. Facebook: Drawing the battle lines on CNET News.

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