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January 17, 2013

Zuckerberg Opens Up About Google Negotiations

Privacy was the reason Facebook opted to partner with Microsoft’s Bing rather than search engine king Google two years ago, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has divulged for the first time.

Zuckerberg opened up about the 2010 deal during the much-anticipated Jan. 15 press conference to announce Graph Search at the company’s new headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

According to a report by The Guardian, Zuckerberg said Google was unenthusiastic about changing its search algorithm to accommodate deletions from Facebook users’ walls. In other words, when a photograph or post was deleted from Facebook, the social network also wanted it to disappear from Google’s search results — a request Google was unable to fulfill.

Microsoft, however, was able to accommodate Facebook’s request and the social network has partnered with the company’s search engine Bing ever since.

“I think the main thing is about when people share something on Facebook, we want to give them not only the ability to broadcast something out but also change their privacy settings later and take the content down,” Zuckerberg was quoted by The Guardian.

“That requires incredibly quick updating … We need that content to be gone immediately … You need infrastructure that can support that and that takes a lot of commitment from the partner.

“Microsoft was more willing to do things that were specific to Facebook. Google has a system that works really well for them about how they treat information across their company, and I think that our system was different in ways that people share information and want to give them flexibility after the fact – that was the biggest stumbling block.

“That may have just been the specific thing in the negotiation, it may have been a symptom of a bigger strategic rift, but that is at least where the discussion fell apart the last time we spoke about it.”

The deal meant those signed into Bing would see ‘Liked by your Facebook friends’ links in the search engine’s result pages.

The lack of deal between Facebook and Google also gave birth to Google+, the technology titan’s way of gleaning its own social data.