As Facebook got a heap of criticism over some alleged bullying of its platform developers, Google's Vic Gundotra, who leads Google+, was quick to point out Google deals with developers much better. This set off some criticism of itself, with some labeling it as an opportunistic move.
Pounding on a competitor's product is more something that Microsoft does, not Google. Then again, Gundotra came to Google after some 15 years at Microsoft. Or maybe it's just something that companies that can't compete tend to do.
The worst part though is that it's not really true. Google can't boast about how it treats the developers using its platform since Google+ doesn't really have one. There are a few paltry APIs, but nothing on the scale of what Facebook or even Twitter offers.
It's easy to "do the right thing" when you're not really doing that much. What's more, Google has a history of being less than friendly with its developers.
It started charging for heavy use of Google Maps, it decided to shut down the Translate API and only recounted when a huge number of developers started complaining and so on.
Still, that's not on the same level as Facebook's bullying, but if the social network can get away with it, it's not going to stop using this type of tactics. And Gundotra focused more on why Google+ doesn't have a full-blown API than anything else.
"I've repeatedly stated the reason - I'm not interested in screwing over developers. When we open an API, we want developers to feel confident that the innovations they build are going to be long lasting," Gundotra wrote
"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.
"So I'm sorry that we haven't released a wide open write API for those of you who want one. We're being careful because we want to be different. You know, actually respectful of developers who build on our platform. It's novel. I know," he added.