On first impressions, I feel kind of sad about Friendfeed being swallowed up by Facebook, although let’s look past this.
First – Friendfeed and Facebook overlap on an area that is at least of use to bloggers. That being a aggregation and resyndication for tonnes of social networks (and RSS feeds). The key thing here is that this is the core of Friendfeed’s site, and you’d have to be crazy to not think Friendfeed do this better than Facebook. They certainly support more sites.
Second – Friendfeed can be private, but is like Twitter in that it is at its best when public. Whereas Facebook, imho, doesn’t work that well as a public profile site. I have always considered Facebook to be everyone’s own walled garden (have you checked your privacy settings lately?). So there is a dissonance here, assuming the two sites are going to eventually become one site.
Now, it could justifiably be said that Facebook has just bought itself a big heap of talent, seeing as Friendfeed was founded by notable ex-Google employees. However, that’s not of a great deal of interest to me, what is of interest to me, is how this affects me as an end user. At this very moment, the whole thing seems very mixed up. On one hand, while I do resyndicate all of my content to Friendfeed, I don’t actively participate on the site (but it was on my list of things to learn). On the other hand, it would seem a great waste on Facebook’s part if they didn’t add the functionality of Friendfeed into their own site. However, doing the latter would suggest the powers that be at Facebook want more public facing profiles, so as to attract even more users. Well, I’m sure that would be great for the shareholders, but thta’s not why most of us are with Facebook. See the news stories of people getting fired from their jobs because of some off the cuff comment they made on Facebook. This strongly suggests that, apart from that some people are idiots, people come to Facebook with the expectation of a closed environment. In short, Facebook is not Myspace!
A question which interests me, and only time will tell, is will anyone miss Friendfeed once it has been fully assimilated?