Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How FriendFeed Works

        Tech | Social Networks

Using FriendFeed
Users subscribe to their friends' updates, which post in one continuous stream.
Users subscribe to their friends' updates, which post in one continuous stream.
FriendFeed

First of all, before you think about using FriendFeed, you should consider how social you are on the Web. If you just have a Facebook profile and that's it, FriendFeed wouldn't provide much help for you, since all you'd need to keep up with friends is the News Feed provided by Facebook's homepage. But if you have several accounts and want to use one source to share with friends, FriendFeed may prove useful.

There are several kinds of social networking feeds available over the Internet: Some are desktop applications that you install onto your computer, some you can download onto your mobile phone and others are simply Web-based. FriendFeed is a Web-based service -- there's nothing to download or add, you just visit the site's address. To get started with FriendFeed, you can do one of two things. You can either sign up, simply by providing your name, a username, a password and your e-mail address, or you can sign up directly and with one click through Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts. With the latter option, you're allowing FriendFeed to pull the information you've already provided for your profiles.

Once you're signed up, connecting with friends is the next step and, of course, the whole point of FriendFeed. You can find other friends using FriendFeed by searching for a name or an e-mail address -- there's a green "Friends" box that you can click on to start. Once you find someone you'd like to follow, you "subscribe" to that friend, much like how Twitter users subscribe to other Twitter accounts or blog readers subscribe to RSS feeds. If you have friends on services like Facebook and Twitter that are also on FriendFeed, you can automatically import them. You can also invite friends who aren't using FriendFeed with e-mail invitations.

Adding as many services as possible is helpful on FriendFeed, which you can do from the "Setting" link. By clicking "add/edit" next to "Services," a list of sites compatible with FriendFeed will show up and you can select from that list. If a blog you follow doesn't show up, you can still add it as long as it uses an RSS or Atom feed.

Posting something is also easy. You can post links or text directly onto FriendFeed or the service can pull updates from your long list of social networking sites directly. It's customizable, so you can control the type of information you send out or what posts you'd like to see.