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Facebook To Become New Google After Friendfeed Acquisition?

With the 12 employees of Friendfeed joining Facebook, the number of senior ex-Google employees who jumped ship over the last two years is nothing short of astounding.

This appears to be part of a concerted approach by Facebook to become like Google by literally sucking the very lifeblood out of the search engine as its top employees move to the social networking website

Google's Director of Product Management (eCommerce) and Stanford CS PhD Benjamin Ling, Gideon Yu, who came in with the acquisition of online video star Youtube and Justin Rosenstein, who helped launch Page Creator all migrated to Facebook in 2007.

Then on the 21st of June, Facebook hired Googler Greg Badros (a guy who was responsible for AdSense, Gmail, Calendar, Reader, and Orkut.) as its new Director of Engineering away from Google.

Eight days later, Prashant Fuloria, formerly a Director of Product Management at Google and Mr Google Checkout, jumped ship as well. By some estimates, around 50 out of the 900 or more Facebook employees come from Google.

With the acquisition of Friendfeed, four more former Google employees have now joined Facebook and have played key roles at Google for products like Gmail and Google Maps. Interestingly, Paul Buchheit, who co-founded Friendfeed coined Google's legendary Motto, "Don't be Evil".

And as InsideFacebook (opens in new tab) put it back in March 2008, a significant amount of Facebook Employees (up to 10 percent at that time) were ex Google employees. Importantly, most of them came in as engineering or product specialists.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.