Social Media

Facebook Adds FriendFeed as a … Friend (And So Much More)

August 10, 2009

Image via FriendFeed
Image via FriendFeed

This afternoon, Facebook announced its acquisition of social media aggregator FriendFeed – and the social world has been abuzz about the news ever since.

360i’s David Berkowitz wrote a column for Ad Age that talks about what the deal means for the social marketing industry.

“The Web’s much bigger than Facebook, and Facebook knows that, which is why it wants to incorporate updates from wherever consumers and brands live on the Web,” writes David. “Now it all goes back to Facebook, which should grow even more useful for marketers thanks to the acquisition. And if FriendFeed improves as a destination in the process, all the better.”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with FriendFeed, we discussed its role in the “Arenas” chapter of the Social Marketing Playbook (excerpted below):

“Launched in 2007, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington blogged in October 2008 that ‘FriendFeed’s simple approach may be the way to win,’ and prognosticated, ‘I have a feeling it will be a very popular service.’ It’s on the right track, although it still hasn’t become mainstream, reaching 927,000 unique users in March 2009 (Compete), up from 221,000 only one year earlier.

FriendFeed is in many ways a classic prototype for identity aggregation. Upon registering, users can select from more than 57 online services to add to their own profiles, mostly from social sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, digg and dozens of others) and select others that have feeds such as Amazon and Netflix. Users can also subscribe to others’ feeds. FriendFeed has been a pioneer of categorization, allowing users to subscribe to hundreds of business associates and categorize them as such while keeping a few favorites in the ‘home’ feed.

One added benefit of FriendFeed is its search engine. Users can search their friends’ feeds, but even visitors who aren’t registered can search all of the content and links shared from the search box on A marketer, for instance, can search for all references to his or her brands or competitors across all of FriendFeed users’ aggregated feeds. Searching FriendFeed may bring up links and references on niche or smaller sites that a marketer could otherwise overlook.”

You can read about other social platforms in the Social Marketing Playbook. And don’t forget to subscribe to 360i on FriendFeed.