Again: Why I Like FriendFeed
With the sudden buzz building around FriendFeed, I thought I’d reiterate my enjoyment. I reviewed the site a few months ago and thought it was pretty slick back then. My initial opinion hasn’t changed, and I’ve been using FriendFeed more and more.
So here’s why I continue to like FriendFeed:
The site is easy to use once set up. You participate without trying, by doing what you normally do on other sites. You can easily dash off Twitter-like comments on FriendFeed, which also saves time since you aren’t logging in to multiple sites. You can get a good overview of all your friends’ activity across multiple social sites in one place.
The comments – which I believe are a killer feature – have become more interesting as more people sign up. The number of silly “first post” comments is currently low – the site is in a sweet spot of being popular enough and not too popular for its own good.
FriendFeed is solid and fast – I’ve experienced zero downtime or slowdowns. Feed updates happen more quickly than in Google Reader. I subscribe to my FriendFeed in Google Reader (yes, that’s a bit of a feedback loop) and can see other bloggers’ blog posts appearing FriendFeed first, before Google Reader itself. This is likely an issue of scale, but a big positive for FriendFeed right now.
Interesting additional features – under “friend settings” there are two amusing tabs – one for adding an “imaginary friend” through which you can track people’s activity without them being a member of FriendFeed. Second is “stats” which tells you what sites you’re using most and which friends like your stuff the most.
It’s sticky – I’m checking out FriendFeed on a daily basis if not multiple times a day.
Now what’s bad? Well, I do agree that FriendFeed has limited utility to mainstream users. One has to be using more than two or three social websites and be comfortable with the concept of RSS feeds for it to make any sense. A universal remote is of no use to someone with only one remote. It will be interesting to see if FriendFeed can grow their user base beyond the current core of technology early adopters.
There is some concern if FriendFeed is taking comments away from the blogs and other websites proper, or adding another “layer” over existing discussion that isn’t necessary. I wonder if these same folks worry about comments on links on social sites like Digg, which also occur away from the originating site. This complaint seems like something coming from an “old media” newspaper website. Conversation happens where it’s most convenient and where people are already talking.
Lastly, I’ll mention that while Louis Gray did FriendFeed a big service by promoting them (I got my invite from him) – the site still had to live up to the hype. I’ve looked at many Web 2.0 sites over the past two years and this is the first where I felt “wow, cool” – not unlike Tony Hung of Deep Jive Interests’ experience – and most important – continued using the site after the initial week of amusement wore off. That last “stickiness” is key, and why I think FriendFeed is worth checking out.
Once again: Here’s my FriendFeed.