Facebook must be stopped

Blah blah privacy whatever. I don’t really care about most of the beefs people have with Facebook because I tend to agree with Zuckerberg that online privacy is a pipe dream. You can throw all the security you want around your data but the fact that we’re talking about social software means that sooner or later someone in your social circle will compromise that data –  even if inadvertently.

No, the problem I have with Facebook is this:

Today, we’re proud to announce that we’ve struck a deal with Facebook.  What this means is that Facebook has bought most of drop.io’s technology and assets, and Sam Lessin is moving to Facebook.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be winding down the drop.io service. As of this week, people will no longer be able to create new free drops, but you’ll be able to download content from existing drops until Dec. 15. Paid user accounts will still be available through Dec. 15 and paid users will be able to continue using the service normally.  After Dec. 15, paid accounts will be discontinued as well.

via An important update on the future of drop.io | Drop.io Blog.

When Google buys up an awesome service and assimilates its developers, they typically do one of two things:

  1. Open-source the software so that others can play with it while Google figures out what to do with it (a la Etherpad)
  2. Take it off the market for a while, then re-release the same service only more awesome and Googlified (a la Google Voice).

What are the odds Facebook is going to do either of of those things with Drop.io? Yeah, I don’t think so either. The technology will eventually find its way into the main Facebook app in a way that will be virtually unrecognizable and will only benefit people who want to help make Facebook more ubiquitous.

Google vs. Facebook is starting to look a bit like Sun vs. Oracle. Sun bought things and then made the world more awesome with them. Oracle buys things and then makes Larry Ellison richer. I just hope that eventually Google buys Facebook and not vice-versa.

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