Israeli firm's app allows Facebook viewing on Google+
JERUSALEM, July 12
JERUSALEM, July 12 (Reuters Life!) - An Israeli company has developed an application that allows users of the newly launched social networking site Google+ to also view their streams from sector leader Facebook.
Called "Google+Facebook", the application was developed last week by Crossrider, whose main business is developing Internet browser add-on extensions, and already has more than 100,000 downloads, according to Koby Menachemi, Crossrider's co-founder and chief executive.
"It's something we created in less than a day," Menachemi told Reuters. "The product is not perfect, yet you can view (Facebook) streams and update your status" while on Google+.
After a nuber of prior failures, Google is betting that Google+, which already has more than 10 million users, will directly compete with Facebook, which has more than 750 million in the rapidly growing social networking industry.
While most would prefer to allow a simple importing of Facebook friends, photos and other personal information into Google+, that violates Facebook's terms of service.
Crossrider's application, which is free, just adds an icon to Google+, where users can view their Facebook pages.
"It's a site within a site," Menachemi said, adding that the company would be willing to make improvements. "If users want a feature to post updates on both networks, we will. If they want to comment on their Facebook screen, we will do it."
He noted that the popularity of the Google+Facebook application has been higher than expected. "We didn't do any PR. It was just one tweet and one Facebook share and people picked it up," Menachemi said.
Still, there has been some criticism of the application on Crossrider's own website, with some comments calling it "malware" -- or malicious software.
Menachemi denies that Google+Facebook is malware but has no plans of removing the negative comments from the Crossrider site.
Menachemi, a former chief technology officer at financial news and analysis site Seeking Alpha, founded Crossrider a year ago along with Shmueli Ahdut -- the developer of Google+Facebook.
The company provides a framework for developers to come up with new features for browsers. Menachemi said the Google+Facebook application was created to show the capabilities of Crossrider.
(Editing by Paul Casciato)