Keep Your Eyes On FriendFeed: It May Be The Google Of Social Networks

May 23, 2008

In the past week, I have been ignoring Twitter, and noticed several things:

The general trend in my online life, at least: FriendFeed is taking over all my online social activity.


Wait, what the heck are rooms? At first glance I found them rather inconsequential – basically a “mini FriendFeed” based around a particular subject. However, with further thought, they could also be:

FriendFeed: Rooms

I also noticed: FriendFeed with a bunch of rooms in menu bar at the top and users on the side, resembles a social network spread over different topics. Hmmm.

The Larger Picture

As web 1.0 imploded, Google appeared out of the blue after Microsoft and Yahoo! thought they had search wrapped up. Google’s stark, empty page with just a search box was a breath of fresh air in contrast to the image-laden and over monetized portals. Google stripped search back to the essentials and delivered wicked fast and surprisingly accurate search results. The rest is history.

I daresay FriendFeed is the clean, wicked fast social networking tool amid the cluttered and over-burdened social web 2.0 sites of today.

FriendFeed Is Taking On Digg And Reddit

FriendFeed cuts to the heart of my definition of social. All I want to do is share crap with people, comment on stuff, and feel like part of a community, and maybe meet some new eccentrics – as fast and efficiently as possible. FriendFeed does this via a bottomless stream of interesting stuff that goes on forever, without widgets, superpokes, emails, ads, or cutesy graphics.

FriendFeed contains the core function of the social web – sharing links and comments – and made it fast, easy, and fun – through simple choices. Moving comments up to the top level. A roll over a name gives you a link to follow them. Zero large images to make the stream the focus.

Digg and Reddit probably think they have social news totally locked up. They don’t.

FriendFeed Is Taking On Twitter

Then we have Twitter: a great idea, really short “tweets” that are sent to all your followers and also over cell phones. But they are faltering on execution and FriendFeed may be poised to take advantage of this. In FriendFeed you can share a line of text – just like a tweet. But once in FriendFeed, people can comment on those shared lines of text (can’t do that in Twitter), fostering conversation. Meanwhile, a mobile FriendFeed is surely in the works.

Twitter probably thinks they have tons of momentum and their users won’t leave for a more reliable service. I wouldn’t count on that.

FriendFeed Will Take On FaceBook

Lastly, we have Facebook with their social stream and just today, they’re talking about pulling activity from more websites into their walled garden. Sound familiar? FriendFeed does exactly that. Is Facebook scared of something?

Facebook may think they have the social stream locked up because they have a huge user base and everyone goes where their friends are. I wouldn’t count on that, either.

I Have FriendFeed Fever

These platitudes certainly read like hype, as Digg, Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook have multitudes more users and piles more traffic than FriendFeed. In addition, I’m just one user and it’s silly to extrapolate my experience out to the internet at large. But I’ll venture out on a limb here: I believe FriendFeed is the “real deal,” and it has the potential to challenge several assumed Web 2.0 successes so far – simultaneously.

Granted, considering FriendFeed the be-all-end-all social networking platform out there – the “one social Web 2.0 site to rule them all” is woefully presumptuous and premature. But I daresay there’s a reason why other early adopter bloggers like Robert Scoble, Louis Gray, Steven Hodson, Steve Rubel, Tony Hung, Duncan Riley, and Thomas Hawk have caught the “FriendFeed Fever.”

That reason is a gut feeling – that FriendFeed is simply a better tool. I had this feeling when I first used Google, Firefox, the iPod, and the iPhone. Something compelling, useful, fun, addicting, and a possible paradigm shift.

I would not be surprised to see Google suck FriendFeed back to the mothership and use it as the underpinnings to their fuzzy OpenSocial strategy: Gmail + GoogleReader + FriendFeed = look out.

Watch the heck out for FriendFeed. It’s the real freaking deal.


  1. matt says:

    Friendfeed looks to me like another social network site. People often say “not another social network site” Despite the big numbers of chat and social network sites there are only a handfull of well known ones so if a smaller player can make it in such a competitive market I say well done

  2. matt says:

    Freindfeed seems to be going up against social bookmarking sites like digg and stumbleupon. As an online dating and chat rooms webmaster I dont see Friendfeed as a threat

  3. Vic Mall says:

    This is a great service I have to admit

  4. Matt says:

    I think you are right. There is room for twitter and I also prefer it to FF

  5. singlesonlinedatingsites says:

    Well it doesnt seem to have gotton off the ground, not too many people have even heard of it that I have asked. Look at Twitter, an success overnight.