A Take on Facebook’s Friendfeed Purchase

In theory, FriendFeed is a service that should appeal to people who are enthusiastic about social media because it provides the ability to quickly get a broad snapshot of a person’s digital activity – everything from Twitter and Facebook to blog posts and Flickr.

In other words, it’s one-stop social media shopping.

The reality, however, is FriendFeed has limited appeal. If you take a look at data from Compete.com, you can see that Friendfeed’s traffic peaked a couple of months ago at about one million unique users (U.S) before dropping 10% in July.

This may be due to people taking summer vacation but it also suggests Friendfeed’s limited appeal. In many respects, Friendfeed is social media over-kill because it gives you the entire menu as opposed to separate “servings”.

For some people, an all-you-can-eat social media “buffet” is appealing but I think most people prefer less rather than more, which is why Twitter has resonated in such a major way.

This isn’t to suggest Friendfeed isn’t a useful or interesting service but perhaps that it serves a niche audience. This market reality and the absence of a revenue model made it difficult for Friendfeed to create a viable business. So, when Facebook came around with a takeover offer, it was probably difficult for Friendfeed’s founders (a group of ex-Google employees) and investors to turn down.

That said, Friendfeed as a feature within Facebook may thrive as it becomes integrated into the Facebook ecosystem and gets exposed to a new audience of 250 million users.

For more thoughts on the Facebook-Friendfeed deal, check out Social Media Today’s Paul Chaney. As well, Franklin Petitt has a good post looking at how Friendfeed introducing a lot of interesting features during its relatively short lifespan.


One Comment on “A Take on Facebook’s Friendfeed Purchase”

  1. Thanks for the mention of my FF post. Now that Friendfeed has been acquired by Facebook, I wonder if there is any reason to engage with it at all given its limited lifespan. Of course, how long it will remain as a self-standing entity remains a mystery.

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