Google+ links not appearing on Facebook?

Foul play at work, or Google+ making mountain views out of molehills?
Kerry Butters

August 17, 2011

Google+ invite links are not showing up after they have been posted to Facebook news feeds, according to a video posted on YouTube yesterday by a Google employee.

Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of social business, linked to the post from his G+ account and said: “We are getting reports of Google+ invite links not showing up on Facebook news feeds anymore (they appear to have stopped on Friday). I wonder how widespread this problem is?”

Google has not addressed the issue with the rival social networking site. However, it is possible that the problem is due to Facebook’s spam filtering system, rather than what many would assume to be anti-competitive behaviour.

Although when a link is posted it appears on the users’ wall, it seems that it doesn’t show up at all in friends’ news feeds. However, there is no evidence to show that this is the case for everyone who posts a link.

A representative for Facebook told CNET: “We have seen the video but have been unable to replicate the experience it shows.”

He went on to say that due to the abuse of links by spammers, there are hundreds of factors that decide what should be displayed, and that it was likely some users could see the links whilst others couldn’t.

Bradley Horowitz, VP of product management for Google, told The Daily Beast: “Users are curious, and they’re asking us if we know about this… We’re interested to find out if this is an anomaly, or if this is a consistent experience for users. It could just be a bug. It’s impossible for us to know.”

Some reports have expressed concern that this is nothing more than a tactic from Google to imply foul play on the part of Facebook, thus drawing social networkers to G+. Others have implied that it’s just another tactic from Facebook to block any form of advertisements from its competitor.

However, nothing is official, no complaints have been made and it is most likely nothing more than the latest in tit-for-tat sparring as the battle to be the world’s biggest social networking community continues.

A battle in which Google+ still has a long way to go before it can be deemed a worthy challenger to Zuckerberg’s social empire.


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