The Data economy is heating up, and companies are getting snarky. Google, Facebook, Linkedin, and other major players have realized the value of user data and are starting to crack down on imbalanced data exchange practices. On Charlie Rose, Google’s CEO Larry Page provided a unique glimpse into this backroom data fight.
Page discussed the moves Google has made to deal with this new reality, most notably removing gmail users ability to upload their contact list to Facebook. This was done because the data sharing was a “one way street”.
“Google always said 'Fine, you can get (your contact list) from Google.'” Page stated, ”The issue we had is that, then Facebook said, 'No, Google, you can't do the reverse.’ And so we just said, 'Well, users don't understand what (Facebook is) doing, (users are) putting data in, they don't understand they can't take it out .. and so we said we'll only participate with people who have reciprocity. and we're still waiting."
Facebook knows the value of their data, and they know advancements in Analytics will compound that value. Facebook did well to gather what data they could from other companies, and now their data store is among the best in the business. Given the quality and breadth of their data, Facebook has little to gain working with the other big companies, and with the recent IPO, don’t expect them to start giving away their assets anytime soon.
“I think it's been unfortunate that Facebook has been pretty closed with their data." Said Page in the interview, but the question is unfortunate for whom? Given the increasing value of data to large companies Page seems to think the real victim is Google, and the users losing the tools they have grown reliant on are a secondary concern.