Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday described Google+ as Google's attempts to "build their own little version of Facebook", prompting a retort from the search giant.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Bradley Horowitz, Google's VP of product, said in response to Zuckerberg's comments, "We are delighted to be underestimated, it's served us very well to date."

Despite coming back with that little zinger of his own, Horowitz insists that Google isn't interested in a spat with the social network, positing that Google+ is a different thing entirely.

"When people first saw our service they speculated, they said 'Oh it's just like Facebook', and others said 'No, it's more like Twitter' and in the interim we have created a community and experience that is uniquely our own.

"A lot of the pitting the companies against each other... it certainly sells advertising and clicks, it's an intriguing story. But when we think about what we're doing, we think about how we can make Google services better."

Yeah, we're not fighting either

Zuckerberg agrees, in part. At first he implies that it's not a war, before going on to tell US broadcaster Charlie Rose that Facebook sees itself aligning with Amazon and Apple, while Google is more of a rival:

"People like to talk about war. There are a lot of ways in which the companies work together. There are real competitions in there, but I don't think this is going to be the type of situation where there's one company that wins all the stuff.

"Google in some ways is more competitive and is certainly trying to build their own little version of Facebook. When I look at Amazon and Apple, I see companies that are extremely aligned with us. We have a lot of conversations with people at both companies trying to figure out ways in which we can do more together."

These protests aren't fooling anyone - all the veiled comments and back-handed sniping make it pretty clear that someone needs to lock Google and Facebook in a room with no sharp implements until they can get all this straightened out.

From Bloomberg and Charlie Rose via PC World