Feeds

Facebook secures ex-Google brain trust

FriendFeed buy nets nimble minds

Security for virtualized datacentres

Facebook has agreed to acquire FriendFeed, a file, photo, video, and message-sharing website whose co-founders are all former Googlers, one of whom coined Google's renowned motto, "Don't be evil."

Perhaps the most important assets that Facebook will land as a result of the acquisition won't be FriendFeed's technology, but instead their staff - especially two of the co-founders, Paul Buchheit and Bret Taylor.

When at Google in the mid-1990s, Buchheit birthed that company's content-based ad targeter, AdSense. He was also the brains behind Gmail and famously dreamed up Google's somewhat debatable motto during a "corporate-values" brainstorming session back in 2001.

Co-founder Bret Taylor's résumé is also impressive, having been Google's group product manager during Google Maps' development. The remaining two co-founders, Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh, are not exactly chopped liver themselves, having also "played key roles" in Google engineering, according to today's announcement.

In the same canned statement, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had good things to say about FriendFeed's "simple and elegant service for people to share information," but also focused on the acquisition of minds over technology. "As this [acquisition] shows, our culture continues to make Facebook a place where the best engineers come to build things quickly that lots of people will use."

The Mountain View, California-based FriendFeed has a total of 12 employees and will, according to the announcement, conduct business as usual until decisions are made as to how their new parent will use their technology.

Taylor also noted in a separate blog post that "FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being. We're still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team."

But as might be expected in an acquisition announcement, Taylor sounds raring to go. "We can’t wait to join the team and bring many of the innovations we’ve developed at FriendFeed to Facebook’s 250 million users around the world," he enthused.

Although 12 new people won't change Facebook overnight, Buchheit and Taylor have both shown how a few fine engineering minds can help transform an entire company. You can't help but think that members of the Google brain trust are kicking themselves over the ones that got away.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not revealed, but, as Taylor put it, "As my mom explained to me, when two companies love each other very much, they form a structured investment vehicle..." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.