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Monday, June 23, 2008

The Feed Wars - Friendfeed vs Facebook

I am someone who has consolidated all my net activity on facebook. Every worthwhile site has a facebook app - twitter, wordpress blog etc.

Then came friendfeed. I was introduced to it as a simple facebook app and I could integrate everything worthwhile outside of facebook world to follow friends and find feeds of their activities, interests.

Private vs Public Social Graph: The main difference is that friendfeed is a public world of everything thats open for all to see from the people I follow or the friends who follow me. Facebook is my private world of pictures and comments shared by my circle of friends thats not archived for the world to randomly read.



Seinfeld of the Internet: Friendfeed has become the first site to pull me out of facebook to read random twitter feeds and multimedia digged or bookmarked or commented or shared on flickr or youtube - like a reality tv show in short bursts . Someone called Friendfeed the Seinfeld of the Internet (ping me if you know who said that). But its more than TV, you have control on when you flip channels and read feeds of friends or surf through the tinyurls of links your friends want you to read or get engrossed in a discussion of comments (a lot by Robert Scoble) as if you crashed into a cocktail party discussion about a random topic.



The problem is many of my friends on facebook are on friendfeed. They use twitter to say where they are, facebook status doesn't do it for many. My real dilemma came when I had to decide on where I should post an album of pictures after my facebook meetup. Flickr makes it public for the world. Facebook pictures add a personal angle as my friends acknowledge they saw it by tagging it. Same for videos, youtube is my favorite and I have a channel and followers., but facebook video manages support for all size and formats of videos and friends can tag. I chose to defer the problem and continue to use both with sometimes redundant efforts and friendfeed app feed showing redundant feeds of pictures on flickr while my friends on facebook have already seen the pictures on my minfeed.

Enter Facebook's minifeed imports:

Today I noticed Facebook has a simple "import" option in mini-feeds on a profile. And guess what? We have the choice of importing actions from our public sites onto our minifeed.

One first look this could bring the friendfeed functionality inside facebook feeds, but since we all see what our social graphs show, I think friendfeed is entrenched and its hard to expect my friends to adopt the minifeed as their discussion community with comments. Facebook will have to do more to make this import of minifeed (wish it had a better name than that) to be visible to the world and not lost in my minifeed.

On a different note, this import of minifeed could be facebook's attempt to make the profile page an engaging piece of facebook and allow "profile surfing" as is available on bebo.

Choice is good, but this is not enough to take me away from facebook or friendfeed. This could be fun for us as users if friendfeed survives as a standalone company, else this becomes a smart move by facebook to build friendfeed functionality before Google or MS buys friendfeed.

What do you think?

18 comments:

Connie Bensen said...

Hi Su,
I need to turn friendfeed off in Facebook I think. It's spamming my profile (I feel).

althought my Facebook account isn't private - it's just as public as the rest of my online life.

Sudha (Su) Jamthe said...

@connie benson - You riase a good point. friendfeed in facebook does seem to send duplicate notifications which seems redundant to what you do on facebook. But I found some of my friends are more responsive on facebook and comment there, others are on friendfeed and comment there so I have to keep them both. I am still trying to figure out which serves which social engagement for me and how they can be used differently.

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