Services & Software

Google's Eric Schmidt says Facebook "threatens the bargain of the Web"

Google boss Eric Schmidt has revealed his feelings about Facebook in a chat with the BBC. Click here to find out how social networks "threaten the bargain of the Web".

Google boss Eric Schmidt has revealed his feelings about Facebook in a chat with the BBC. Having stepped down from his role as the big dog at the big G, Schmidt now has lots of time on his hands to don a tasteful powder-blue jumper and ponder the threat of social networking to the openness of the Web.

The Beeb confronted Schmidt with Google's apparent failure to catch the social network wave, citing the failure of Google Buzz. Schmidt concedes that Google has been "late adding social capabilities to our core products" but says that Buzz and other current plans are not an attempt to copy Facebook.

Discussing the walled gardens of social networking, Schmidt reckons that closed systems threaten "the bargain of the Web", a neat little phrase that sums up our relationship with the Internet.

Click play on the BBC video below to see more, including Eric's views on the touchy subject of Facebook poaching Google staff. If you're outside the UK the video may not work, but that's why we pay a license fee and you talk funny.

Schmidt stepped down from his role as Google CEO in a surprise shake-up last week, leaving co-founders Larry Page to take charge and Sergei Brin to deal with new business. Schmidt is now executive chairman, focusing on external relationships like deals, partnerships and nipping out on sandwich runs.

Schmidt said Google is growing by 20 per cent around the world, but added, "We don't have to do everything." Which is news to those worried that the Big G is taking over the world one email address at a time.

Do you think Facebook and other closed networks should make your information available through Google? Is Google taking over the world? Is Facebook taking over the world? Don your most tasteful pastel pullover and tell us your thoughts in the comments. Or on our Facebook wall -- we won't tell Eric.