Facebook “knows all about Google’s social product plans,” and has obtained copies of proprietary Google documents outlining their social strategy. So said a Facebook engineer at the TechCrunch party at August Capital on Friday to all within earshot.
Google has yet to confirm that they are launching a new social network, but rumors have been flying for the last several weeks that the company is hard at work on finding a way to compete with Facebook. Google is conducting focus groups to gather information about consumers’ social habits as well.
If Facebook does have these proprietary documents it’s possible they obtained them from a former Google employee who switched companies. Regardless, it’s reckless to boast about it. Zynga sued Playdom in 2009, accusing them of obtaining trade secrets and other proprietary information from former Zynga employees hired by Playdom. If that’s the case with Google and Facebook, we might see legal action taken sooner rather than later.
Both Google and Facebook declined to comment on this story.