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Facebook Acquires FriendFeed

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the friends-indeed dept.

Social Networks 71

Several readers including carpenter37 let us know that FriendFeed has sold itself to Facebook. Nobody who knows is talking about the terms of the deal. Here is Facebook's announcement, and here is FriendFeed's, which elaborates: "As my mom explained to me, when two companies love each other very much, they form a structured investment vehicle." FriendFeed was founded in 2007 by four ex-Googlers, including Paul Buchheit — the engineer behind Gmail and the originator of Google's "Don't be evil" motto — and Bret Taylor, a former group product manager who launched Google Maps.

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71 comments

Shame it's not the other way around (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29017819)

FriendFeed is awesome and FaceBook is sucktacular. Let's hope FF doesn't become some crappy FB app.

Re:Shame it's not the other way around (1)

PeelBoy (34769) | more than 4 years ago | (#29023753)

I disagree. I like facebook. It is a good way for me to keep track of my friends across the world.

(I haven't used Friend Feed before, so I'll look into that now..)

I used sites like myspace for a while, but most of them don't do a very good job of letting you interact with people and even worse of a job keeping you updated on what's going on.

facebook shows you most of the relevant updates you care about right when you login and does a good job of notifying of when there is an update to something you might want to see.

You don't have to surf to all of your friends profiles every day to keep track of them, anything they post is going to show up on your wall when you login.

I like that.

So what are my other options for keeping track of people I care about? Use my phone/email contact list to send them an email or call them on the phone every month?

Nah. That's the only way of doing it and it's not very efficient :p

Bah. (5, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29017861)

I'm getting really tired of my social interactions carrying on in a walled garden outside of my control.

Really, I'd be satisfied if they'd just start charging money and quit trying to do data mining on my social life.

Also quit trying to innovate. I want an easily configurable messaging utility that only allows trusted contacts, and some photo upload and publishing ability (with comments) that piggybacks on the trusted communication. Anything above that is just burning CPU cycles. (Honestly, Facebook is as bad as Slashdot, and if they're making the news feed dynamic, it's going to be even worse.)

Re:Bah. (5, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018129)

Really, I'd be satisfied if they'd just start charging money and quit trying to do data mining on my social life.

If you started paying, do you really believe they wouldn't collect your money AND data mine your social life? Your innocence is refreshing.

May I suggest that if a man approaches you with a business arrangement involving African personages of royal ancestry, you consider that he may not have your best interests at heart?

Re:Bah. (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019757)

> May I suggest that if a man approaches you with a business arrangement involving African personages of royal ancestry, you consider that he may not have your best interests at heart?

Such a man approached me. I was suspicious at first, but he had a legit Facebook profile and we started really connecting on our walls, I feel I can trust him with my other 10'000USD.

Re:Bah. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29018657)

Me too. I think that's what WeOurFamily [weourfamily.com] is trying to do. Private, explicit sharing and no data mining [weourfamily.com] are what attract me to this service-in-beta.

Re:Bah. (0)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29020565)

Still a walled garden. Not a single mention of the protocols they use or how to get data out of their service...

Re:Bah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29027415)

Actually they mention security protocol at least in 2 places on their site "industry standard encryption SSL":

How it Works [weourfamily.com]
and
FAQ [weourfamily.com]
under "what does Secure mean"

And they make it pretty clear that the customer owns the content thus they charge an annual fee.

Re:Bah. (2, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018971)

I want an easily configurable messaging utility that only allows trusted contacts, and some photo upload and publishing ability (with comments) that piggybacks on the trusted communication.

Publish your status (tweets) as RSS, upload your photos to flickr, and post your rants on blogspot. That's what we did in the olden days. (Two years ago.)

But I've been thinking about ways to break the walled garden and have come to 2 conclusions:

1) The garden is already here. I don't know if there will be anything bigger than Twitter or Facebook, or how long they'll last but they will undoubtedly go down in history next to Email and IRC as far as breakthrough Internet communication methods. They're big enough now that they won't be going away soon. You won't tear half the population away from either just by building the same thing and saying, "here, this one's open." They don't care. Social networking is here to stay and Facebook and Twitter let them do what they want to do.

2) That said, there's really no reason that an open social networking framework couldn't be built upon something like XMPP [wikipedia.org]. Website operators could use this framework to setup niche sites ("death metal macebook" or "gardening rakebook") that users could sign up with and connect with users at other sites without leaving their own. The framework would allow basic instant messaging, status, blogs, media content, etc. The downfall to this is that a) FB and twitter are already too well-entrenched 2) Every website wants to be their own walled garden, completely isolated from the rest of the web unless its on their own narrow terms.

Re:Bah. (2, Interesting)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29021203)

I want an easily configurable messaging utility that only allows trusted contacts, and some photo upload and publishing ability (with comments) that piggybacks on the trusted communication.

Publish your status (tweets) as RSS, upload your photos to flickr, and post your rants on blogspot. That's what we did in the olden days. (Two years ago.)

RSS doesn't have privacy features.

Basically, in the last two years, the services have come under one roof. It's a walled garden vs an open platform. Sure, a platform would probably be nicer, but who would develop it? Who would agree on the standards? How frequently would it get updated?

Honestly, it feels like the walled garden approach wins for flexibility and simplicity.

Re:Bah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29022759)

Basically, in the last two years, the services have come under one roof. It's a walled garden vs an open platform. Sure, a platform would probably be nicer, but who would develop it? Who would agree on the standards? How frequently would it get updated?

http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/

Re:Bah. (2, Informative)

Arrawa (681474) | more than 4 years ago | (#29022865)

Actually, a social network called Hyves [hyves.nl] is just doing that. They have used XMPP, you can import twitter-feeds and import photo's from Flickr via rss. They are working on connecting their services to Facebook, Myspace etc.

For those who don 't know Hyves, its a 5-your old network with 9 million members, most of which are Dutch. In fact, most Dutch have a Hyves profile.

They make good money with advertisements, including socalled 'hyvertisement' where members can advertise with their friend's friends for a couple of euro's. Also payed for services make a decent buck for them.

For now, they have resisted offers from almost all other networks. Facebook is getting bigger in the Netherlands, but still lagging way behind Hyves. Other networks, except maybe last.fm or linkedin, are virtually non-existant here.

Re:Bah. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29023673)

The garden is already here. I don't know if there will be anything bigger than Twitter or Facebook, or how long they'll last but they will undoubtedly go down in history next to Email and IRC as far as breakthrough Internet communication methods. They're big enough now that they won't be going away soon. You won't tear half the population away from either just by building the same thing and saying, "here, this one's open." They don't care. Social networking is here to stay and Facebook and Twitter let them do what they want to do.

Somehow I disagree. Twitter and Facebook are the fad of the moment. There have been other fads that were "going to take over the world" and have since died down. There will be new fads that are coming up. Earliest might've been Geocities, and now it's dead. What about recent history? There was the MySpace fad where everyone had a page on it and crap, but that seems to have died down now. Then there was the whole Second Life thing and everyone was jumping in on it. Hell, the only thing Facebook can claim was sanity in a time when MySpace was going nuts, but that was when Facebook was restricted membership.

It's the reason Facebook is trying to be the be-all and end-all of places. They know that there's nowhere to go but down, so the best way to keep the train rolling is getting people to stay. Things like web apps (well, games at the moment, but someone will probably try to write the next "web operating system" and "web office suite" for Facebook) are popular. Hell, Facebook may be the next AOL. Only a matter of time when it will have webmail and other stuff, or even a "facebook browser".

Re:Bah. (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29032161)

"I don't know if there will be anything bigger than Twitter or Facebook, or how long they'll last but they will undoubtedly go down in history next to Email and IRC as far as breakthrough Internet communication methods."

How about Google Wave [wikipedia.org]?

Re:Bah. (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29045309)

Google Wave looks interesting, but it's not even released yet so it's impossible to make any predictions at all. There have been many great technologies that were way ahead of their time but overlooked for one mundane reason or another.

Re:Bah. (2, Insightful)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019091)

I'd agree with anything but 'quit trying to innovate' ? Why would anyone consider that?

Re:Bah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29019127)

Maybe they should stop repeating to themselves "innovate innovate innovate" as they do stuff so idiotic it makes me want to drop them down an elevator shaft.

Re:Bah. (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29032193)

"I'd agree with anything but 'quit trying to innovate' ? Why would anyone consider that?"

Because "innovate" is usually spelled "break compatibility, make all your contacts and historical data unreadable, experiment wildly at the user's expense with a risky protocol which does all sorts of things wrong, and lock you into one company's system".

Why would anyone want that?

Foundational services should NOT "innovate". They should continue being boring, predictable, dependable and secure. Innovate until you get it right, sure - but once you do get it right, don't ever change.

This of course is making the very old-school obsolete pre-post-modernist assumption that there exists a "right" way to do things - you know, how engineering used to be before the Internet era, when we actually made a virtue of NOT being buggy, insecure, and exploding in flames every five seconds.

Those old days were pretty stupid, huh?

Re:Bah. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29019135)

oh and you want it for free as well, right? got it.

Re:Bah. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019341)

The problem is, even if you are willing to pay, the social network is totally worthless if no one else thinks the same way. And then, messages from only trusted people? Generally its trivial to ignore someone who you don't know. And sure, some things are kinda unnecessary (like Facebook applications...) but I don't mind the dynamic feed, I don't notice my internet connection slowing anymore with it on, nor does Firefox become unresponsive. As for trusted communication, sure, it might be nice, but in all honesty, its unnecessary, if you talk to someone enough on Facebook its pretty obvious if they aren't themselves, and if you don't know them just send them an e-mail, call them, etc. "trusted" communication is for 99.9% of people totally useless.

The only thing I really don't like about Facebook is the fact that they change things for no real reason, even with user outrage (look at Facebook 2.0).

Re:Bah. (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019665)

I dunno, I kinda like it.

Facebook's "intelligence" has matched me up with friends from high school, people I used to work with, many of whom I would have never thought to look up. And it's been a lot of fun, and great for business too.

And the current ability to "Hide" updates from people I don't care to hear about is great.

Re:Bah. (1)

TheCowSaysMooNotBoo (997535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29023001)

Yeah, I hate it too when my friends tell me that I need to get facebook/twitter or whatever.

... wait, they don't do that. Maybe you should just get some new friends who are satisfied when you share your latest pictures on your personal web space. Or sitting on the couch while watching the pictures on your television and having a beer.

Re:Bah. (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29028295)

The problem with that is that Facebook has what is really the most compelling version of the semantic web in existence. Many of the photos are tagged, and from one set of tags on a photo you can follow it around and see a variety of people in your circle of friends. Such functionality is certainly possible outside of Facebook, but even if I were to spend the weeks it would take to implement it, it would only be valuable if a lot of my friends started using it.

Another stupid buy out (1, Insightful)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 4 years ago | (#29017875)

How could FriendFeed (A fantastic site with much potential) sell to Facebook?! This is like the Sun-Oracle deal, when a good company sells itself to pure evil.

What's next, a Microsoft-Google merger (Googlesoft)? I'll let Slashdot choose the evil on that one ;)

Re:Another stupid buy out (1)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 4 years ago | (#29017925)

In the end it's all about the money. And it always has been too. Killing off a potential competitor by buying it out is a time-proven practice in Silicon Valley. The data mining aspect Flying Bishop alluded to is just a plus.

Re:Another stupid buy out (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018615)

What's next, a Microsoft-Google merger (Googlesoft)?

I think it would be more like Microogle, but we would all shorten it to Moogle...

Re:Another stupid buy out (1)

sleeper0 (319432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019173)

This is like the Sun-Oracle deal, when a good company sells itself to pure evil.

Obviously you never did business with sun.

Re:Another stupid buy out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29020913)

Surely it would be MicroGoogle and it will dilute google's Dont Be Evil motto by a factor of a million

he left (1)

mestar (121800) | more than 4 years ago | (#29017913)

>originator of Google's "Don't be evil" motto

Now, Google can do evil as much as it wants.

Re:he left (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018275)

He wasn't in google anymore, so google could have been doing evil all this time. In fact, now that he is somewhat in Facebook, Google can't follow the evil plan of buying Facebook and renaming it to Assbook (that last part would be impossible because they would have back the dont be evil mantra by then).

Slashdot Poster Acquires Fiend Freed (5, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29017981)

My new app will let you know whenever any of your fiends are freed from prison.

Keep tabs on your enemies and know when to fear for your life! Get alerts for end-of-sentence release, parole and work-release programs, prison transfers, breakouts, and death.

FiendFreed can mean the difference between life and death, and you'll never have to consider witness protection again!

Re:Slashdot Poster Acquires Fiend Freed (3, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018033)

My new app will let you know whenever any of your fiends are freed from prison.

I'm in prison you insensitive clod!

Re:Slashdot Poster Acquires Fiend Freed (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019143)

I thought it was amusing to suggest a "HateBook" site in a conversation some time ago, where you would have people enemy each other. It didn't take long to realize that would quickly devolve from something light hearted to just plain vicious.

Someone mentioned FriendFace.... HOLY COW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29018051)

Anyways, I have lots of experience with computer things. You know emails, sending emails, receiving emails, deleting emails... Using mouse, mices, clicking, double cliking, the screen of course, the keyboard, the thing that goes on the floor down there...

That's funny... (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018075)

...the guy who coined the phrase "Don't Be Evil" for Google, no longer works for Google? What, did he make some surprising discovery? Some conspiracy to do evil? Need the info here pal, I'm STILL USING GMAIL for heaven's sakes

Re:That's funny... (3, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018101)

Uh oh, "don't be evil" leaves just before the Google Wave launch?

And all of slashdot quivered in fear.

Re:That's funny... (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019595)

The guy who said "don't be evil" sold his company to Facebook... I may be (actually I'm quite sure that I am) biased against Facebook, but I guess the money was just too good. Damn you, money. By the way, how does Facebook pay for this? Last time I checked they weren't making any money, and now they've got enough to buy souls? What's happening to the world?

Re:That's funny... (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019639)

Money? I heard that his terms for the sale were "I get to add anybody I want as a Friend and they cannot refuse the request."

Re:That's funny... (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29020075)

Money doesn't necessarily mean a pre-defined amount of dollars, euros, pounds or yen, just some kind of payment. A practically unlimited amound of FB friends is the best kind of currency in this day and age, alas. This guy is going home with a whole lot of cool points, and might even get into the Guiness Book of World Records as "The Most Popular Guy in History", even before Barack Obama, Michael Jackson and Adolf Hitler.

Re:That's funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29019983)

Paul actually "called in rich" years ago.

When Google turned to the dark side (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29020179)

When did he leave Google?

In 2004 and 2005, Google sponsored the Web Spam Summmit, on how to stop web spam. In 2006 and later, Google sponsored the Search Engine Strategies conference, on how to create web spam. So 2006 is when Google turned to the dark side.

full circle (4, Interesting)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018079)

How many social networking sites are we gonna go through before we settle on an open platform? Anybody remember Friendster? Myspace, Orkut, Facebook, Google Reader. Oh, I found a really long list of them [wikipedia.org].

I honestly can't believe that Facebook will be worth much considering how many other sites we've already gone through. I'm usually wrong though, so who knows.

-metric

Re:full circle (2, Insightful)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018111)

Do you remember when search engines were also a dime a dozen? I remember about 9 or 10 years ago, people coming into the office and grabbing all their stuff, because they were moving to whatever the search engine flavor of the week was.

So the answer seems to be, "There's room for one or two." Just gotta give them time to whittle each other down.

Re:full circle (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018461)

A lot of those are country-specific and very much alive. Also, Google Reader is an RSS aggregator, not a social networking site.

Re:full circle (2, Interesting)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018597)

Google Reader is an RSS aggregator, not a social networking site.

The group of people I currently see sharing content on Google Reader suggests otherwise. It has been moving towards the social aspect for awhile now. eg. Sharing content, commenting, 'liking'. It feels like a precursor to what Google Wave is trying to be.

-metric

Re:full circle (2, Funny)

prockcore (543967) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019699)

The fact that you list Google Reader as a "social networking site" tells me you are unclear on either google reader, or social networking.

Google Reader may have some social networking ability, but it's still primarily an rss aggregator.

Re:full circle (1)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019911)

It has been a long time since it was just an RSS reader. From 2007: Google Reader Begins Sharing Private Data [slashdot.org]. The newer features added in the past few months have pushed it more to the social side, IMO. Of course it all depends on how you use it, and who you are sharing data with.. and how they use it.

-metric

Re:full circle (2, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29019733)

> How many social networking sites are we gonna go through before we settle on an open platform?

I'd say 60 or so. By that time we'll totally have lost our interests in so called "friends" and just go along our cyborg life.

Next aquisition should be.....? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29018623)

A business plan. Yes, one that makes money.

Seems the only ones making money off these social sites seems to be hardware vendors and bandwidth sellers.

Sold itself? (1, Funny)

cbraescu1 (180267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018859)

Shame on them, for selling out. They should have become Open Source ;-)

Now seriously, is there any chance of writing the summary in a way that's not leftier than Stallman?

Sugoi! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29019293)

-- How much will this grow? What does it feed on?

-- Friendfeed.

8-o

----------

Gojira! Aaaaargh!

(Sorry... aham, I... it's ok, I feel better now).

whoa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29019609)

Facebook has money to spare?

Foo gives a fud (1)

deanston (1252868) | more than 4 years ago | (#29020249)

Frankly most web users probably mistaken FriendsFeed for FriendFinder, therefore the relative small user base. And let's face it - FF just has too many bad connotations.

Face[boook]Friend[Feed] (2, Funny)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29020319)

So when will the newly designed FriendFace [friendface.org] be bought by FaceFriend? Will I then be able to add Moss [friendface.org] or Roy [friendface.org] to my FaceFriend friend list?

Re:Face[boook]Friend[Feed] (1)

imnlfn (140832) | more than 4 years ago | (#29024835)

Thank you. The only reason I clicked on this story was to look for references to FriendFace.

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