Feeds

Facebook secures ex-Google brain trust

FriendFeed buy nets nimble minds

Top three mobile application threats

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..." ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.