Facebook Buys FriendFeed: Awesome, Unless You Hate Facebook

August 10, 2009

So Facebook bought FriendFeed.

Why this is good for Facebook

Why this is good for FriendFeed

But I Don’t Like Facebook

I’m part of the group that isn’t happy about this news: because I do not like Facebook. I feel they put profitability above their users, as evidenced by changing privacy agreements or springing new features that nobody has any use for except advertisers. Granted, they backpedal and try to set things right, but their modus operandi is to shoot first and ask questions later.

I was using FriendFeed as a Facebook alternative, and that choice has now essentially been eliminated.

A while ago, I deleted my Facebook account. I shudder at the thought of all one’s FriendFeed activity piping into Facebook. I’m now very glad I deleted my FriendFeed account and along with it, all my data – as I would have done exactly that today.

Also consider how we have Google, a company that wants to index the world’s information in an open way, as opposed to Facebook which wants everyone to bring their stuff into their site. Plus, they have that “do no evil” clause. In a sense, Facebook is creating a relatively closed version of the Internet, inaccessible to Google.

Every user piping data from other sites into FriendFeed is now aiding in that goal.

What I Wish Had Happened

Two other companies come to mind that I wish bought FriendFeed instead: Twitter or Google. Twitter has all the buzz, but would have benefited from the technical prowess of the FriendFeed back end (to fix Twitter’s uptime problems). I seriously think the combination of insane popularity and solid engineering could have eventually taken on Facebook.

I trust Google with my data far above Facebook, largely because of their “do no evil” clause, but also because they still seem (amazingly, for a large company) invested in putting the user first above monetization. And FriendFeed employee Google connections implied an acquisition was an ever-present possibility.

Anyhow, the deal is done. But the result is a technology world steadily shrinking, to a handful of companies (Google, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter). For social media, it’s literally down to Facebook and Twitter.

With my avoidance of Facebook now as strong as my avoidance of Windows (I’m a die hard Mac user) – I look forward to Google Wave more than ever before.


  1. Tech says:

    I think Facebook has bitten off more than it can chew.