While many people online thought that the battle between Google and Facebook might cool off once Google+ was released, the events of the past week have proven quite the opposite.
First, Google+ surprised the world by being remarkably good. After a number of failed social networking projects there was a great deal of speculation around whether or not the company could actually produce a successful social site. While it’s too early to tell whether or not Google+ can make it in the long term, it is clear that it could prove to challenge Facebook in the coming weeks.
Then, just a few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg embarrassed Google by quickly becoming that most popular person on Google+, with almost 35,000 followers at the time of print. He has far more fans than any Google executive on the service, and while Zuckerberg in the flesh has still not commented on whether the profile actually belongs to him or not, his following is undeniably strong on Google.
Late last week Ghacks released an article about an online Facebook app that allows users to arrange their friends in “circles” that are supposed to be similar to Google+’s “circles.” While clearly a weak attempt to capture a bit of Google’s momentum, the move was just one more strike back at the new social network’s growing success.
Now Facebook is stepping up their war against defectors in preparation for an eventual spike in Google+ users. Facebook has successfully blocked a Chrome extension that allows you to export entire swaths of friend information away from the website. It was being used to archive content received and sent to friends via Facebook by those moving their account over to Google+, not wanting to see years of social networking going to waste in a brief moment.
Unfortunately, Facebook quickly swept in and put measures in place that circumvented the extension’s capabilities. Today Facebook Friend Exporter has been crippled by the social media giant to the point that it is nearly completely useless, although the developer of the extension is apparently working hard to find a way around Facebook’s moves.
While they may be staving off the attack from Facebook Friend Exporter, Facebook is not doing so well in protecting photo albums from migrating over to Google+. A new website called Move2Picasa.com is helping users all over the internet get their photos off of the old horse an onto the new one. While a slow working service, Move2Picasa can successfully migrate photos into Picasa, soon to be Google Photos, which Google+ can access. It cannot move data surrounding the photos like comments and friend inclusions, but it does a good job of getting your photos moved off of Facebook as simply as possible.
Things have gotten very hot between Facebook and Google, and Google+ has not even been in limited release for a week now. If things are already this exciting, seeing what happens in the coming months should be very exciting for those watching to see what happens from the grandstands.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.