Google+ chief sides with developer, pounces on Facebook

Aug 03, 2012 By Ryan Faughnder

In a not-very-subtle jab against Facebook, Google+ head Vic Gundotra says he's not opening up the social network's app development platform yet in part to avoid "screwing over developers."

In case you missed it, disgruntled veteran developer Dalton Caldwell on Wednesday published a scathing open letter to in which he accused the company of trying to bully him into joining its App Center team.

Caldwell, co-founder of iMeem and PicPlz, wrote the letter after he presented a product from his start-up App.net, which uses the Facebook platform, to Facebook executives.

He said the executives told him the product was in competition with their App Center, and that they offered to buy Caldwell's start-up, implying they would "destroy" his business if he didn't sell.

"I said that if Facebook wanted to have a serious conversation about acquiring my team and product, I would entertain the idea," Caldwell wrote. "Otherwise, I had zero interest in seeing my product shut down and joining Facebook. I told your team I would rather reboot my company than go down that route."

Gundotra took to Google+ Thursday, defending his decision to not open up its , or application program interface, that is used to develop .

Linking to Dalton's open letter, Gundotra said "(w)e want developers to feel confident that the innovations they build are going to be long lasting."

"Releasing an API, and then later changing the rules of the game isn't fun for anyone, especially developers who've spent their life's energies building on the platform," he said.

As the 's All Things D puts it, the statement smacks of schadenfreude.

Facebook isn't the only social media company getting push-back from developers. In June, Twitter announced it would be introducing "stricter guidelines around how the API is used."

Blasting Facebook further, Gundotra said + wants to be "respectful" of developers. "It's novel. I know," he said.

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