The whole point of FriendFeed is, of course, to pump relevant information from various social networking sites into one convenient stop. If it seems too time consuming to log into a long list of Web sites, one after another, just to sift through all the latest gossip from your friends or find the most interesting articles of the day, FriendFeed hooks into as many of these places as possible and puts it all onto one continuous feed.
The information you want to send out, receive and control is completely customizable. In other words, you can make your information public or private. FriendFeed can pull automatically from more than 50 major sites, including popular ones like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and various blogs, too. The site works in real time, so that link you just shared on Facebook -- it's already up on FriendFeed and circulating quickly among your friends.
So are there any downsides to FriendFeed? Well, one thing some users have complained of is an overly simplistic layout and an "under construction" look, although with several parts of the site in beta release, we may see a more polished presentation soon enough. However, the point of a social networking aggregator, of course, is to simplify and consolidate information, so a "less is more" approach might work best for users in the end.
Some bloggers are also concerned that services like FriendFeed could take away page views from their sites since users can simply post comments directly on FriendFeed's interface instead of going over to the actual blog. And others don't think the hype for FriendFeed's service is totally justified, especially since there are several other social networking aggregators out there that can bring together people's disparate online communities in similar fashion. It's simply a matter of choosing which service fits your needs and works the best.
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Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Chartier, David. "FriendFeed lifestreaming goes real-time for better and worse." ArsTechnica.com. April 6, 2009. (June 8, 2009) http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/04/friendfeed-lifestreaming-goes-real-time-for-better-and-worse.ars
- FriendFeed.com. "FriendFeed Help Center." (June 8, 2009) http://friendfeed.com/about/help
- Kirkpatrick, Marshall. "MySpace hit #1 US destination last week, Hitwise." TechCrunch.com. July 11, 2006. (June 8, 2009) http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/07/11/myspace-hit-1-us-destination-last-week-hitwise/
- Riley, Duncan. "FriendFeed Is This Year's Twitter, But Why?" TechCrunch.com. March 14, 2008. (June 8, 2009) http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/03/14/friendfeed-is-this-years-twitter-but-why/