The service, Google's fourth foray into social networking, experienced strong growth in its initial years, although usage statistics have varied, depending on how the service is defined.
According to a 2016 book by a former Facebook employee, some leaders at Facebook saw Google's foray into social networking as a serious threat to the company.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg instituted a company-wide "lockdown", signaling that employees were supposed to dedicate time to bringing Facebook's features into line with Google .
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