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FriendFeed Fad?

FriendFeed Fad?  Image by Laurent Dieterich

FriendFeed Fad? Image by Laurent Dieterich

Everyone has been talking about FriendFeed these past few weeks, even the pundits.  It’s true, FriendFeed is picking up steam, but will it stick?

For those of you who don’t know, FriendFeed (according to FriendFeed) is a service that makes it easy to share with friends online. It offers a fun and interactive way to discover and discuss information among friends.

Sounds like Twitter, right?  It’s similar, but doesn’t have a 140 character limitation and you can reply in a visible thread to any post.  This tends to generate a more obvious conversation as you can see comments from people who you don’t subscribe to.  It’s known around the social media industry that some of the wisest industry experts are FriendFeed exclusive.

About a week ago, I noted that I had a large number of new FriendFeed requests.  It was odd that these requests outnumbered my Twitter requests because a) I am active on Twitter and seem to get all my traffic there, and b) When was the last time I was on FriendFeed?

I checked it out and noted that everyone on FriendFeed was abuzz about their new influx of followers, too.  Upon further investigation, I saw that there was a new feature: You can now add all of your Twitter friends (who also have FriendFeed account) in the click of a button!  I tested it out, and immediately subscribed to 420 people who also were on my Twitter stream.

It was making sense.

I stuck around FriendFeed for a few days, ignoring Twitter.  I noticed a few key things:

  • The subscription requests kept coming in, but none of those folks seemed to be talking on FriendFeed.  They were just importing their Twitter stream.  Were these people even looking at their FriendFeed accounts?
  • Those who are active on FriendFeed seem to have more informative, high-level discussions about social media.  Bonus: people were participating and adding knowledge to the conversation.  FriendFeed is about the GROUP and what the group thinks.
  • All that nonsense talk like: “I’m at Starbucks, this coffee is goood,” was no where to be found on FriendFeed-only streams. How nice!
  • I didn’t have to babysit FriendFeed like I have to babysit Twitter.  On FriendFeed, I’m not going to miss a beat- I just need to check out “my discussions” and it’s all there.  (I know you can use TweetDeck and other tools on Twitter.)

The verdict?  Michael Arrington wrote a post last month called “FriendFeed is in Danger of Becoming the Coolest Ap No One Uses.” I agree that FriendFeed offers cooler features than Twitter.  But this migration?  It’s fake!  To click a button and add all my friends in 3 seconds is not a commitment on my part that I will be an active member of the community.

The hope, MY hope, is that people will test out FriendFeed and see what they think.  I truly feel like FriendFeed offers higher level, more infomative conversations than any other social media services I’ve tested.  But will it stick?  Time will tell.

Have you been on FriendFeed lately?  Tell me what you think!

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