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Google CEO Eric Schmidt: Social networks are still too closed

He reiterates his position: "If it's not searchable by Google"--by which he means other search engines, too--"it's not open, and open is best for the consumer."

LOS ANGELES--Speaking at IBM's Business Partner Leadership Conference here, Google CEO Eric Schmidt reiterated his position that social networks are still too closed. "If it's not searchable by Google, it's not open, and open is best for the consumer," he said.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes that people should be able to move from place to place on the Web with their data.

He added that "searchable by Google" means also searchable by other search engines, such as Yahoo. "People should be able to move from place to place, and their data is available everywhere," Schmidt said. "Social networks are a real phenomenon of people living their lives online, and it has has legs. We will have to deal with it as a society."

Google has focused efforts on creating code, such as the open source OpenSocial APIs and the Social Graph API, to make social data more portable and accessible to applications. So far, Facebook is the only major social network that has not endorsed the OpenSocial initiative, which is now managed by an independent organization, the OpenSocial Foundation.