Monday's news that social giant Facebook is acquiring the less than two-year old FriendFeed included an important postscript: "FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being as the teams determine the longer term plans for the product." But for FriendFeed users, the future seems unclear. Will development on the service be discontinued as the now Facebook-employed FriendFeed creators have been tapped to work on a bigger, and more popular social-networking site? Probably.
What is likely to happen is that many of FriendFeed's killer features become features on Facebook, with FriendFeed eventually shutting its doors to focus on Facebook development. So what are those FriendFeed features Facebook doesn't have, or that FriendFeed simply does better?
Search: One of the most important features FriendFeed has (that Facebook doesn't) is a really solid search engine. On FriendFeed you can search for content from your friends, or the entire world. The best part is, you can save any search you've made and keep an eye on it for updates. Facebook's search is currently focused more on finding people, along with navigating to various parts of its site like events, pages, and applications. Update: Scratch this one off the list. Hours after this post went live, Facebook began pushing an updated version of its search engine that indexes updates and other content. At least for the past 30 days, which is a good start.
Real real time. FriendFeed's real time is a constant flow of information that comes in as soon as the service can get it to you. On Facebook, you get a little reminder to refresh the stream when there are updates. FriendFeed's way of letting users avoid an overload is to simply put the stream on pause--something Facebook could soon adopt.
Content aggregation. Facebook's "highlights" section of its home page does its best to show you new or otherwise interesting things from your friends if they've liked something. It feels like an afterthought though. FriendFeed's solution is to create a "best of the day" which shows the most popular and fresh content that your friends like. It can also be filtered by day, week and month, which lets you get a quick digest of content without having to keep your eyeballs glued to the news feed.
IM integration. I've knocked this feature in the past for being noisy, but… Read more