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Industry Trends

Can Facebook Justify Acquiring FriendFeed?

By August 19, 2009July 30th, 20232 Comments

Facebook has been trying hard to offer the latest and most popular new social features to their users. In an attempt to mimic Twitter’s functionality they bought the social media sharing site FriendFeed last week for a tidy sum of $47.5 million.

Through FriendFeed, it is possible for users to share all sorts of social media updates, such as those on Facebook, Twitter and blogs from one site itself. It will now be easier for Facebook users to access updates from other platforms. Users won’t need different applications or APIs to access updates, as they had to do earlier.

Facebook has already started rolling out FriendFeed features to users and it should be available to all Facebook users within the next few days. Then, users will be able to see live activity feeds from all their friends who allow their updates to be publicly accessed.

Facebook has been trying to compete with Twitter as far as real-time indexing of search results is concerned, but have not yet been very effective there. FriendFeed has already incorporated this feature in their site, so it is now readily available to Facebook users.

Now Facebook can use this feature to serve ads for various brands while giving its 250 million users access to a very vast amount of data.

Many have argued that Facebook probably bought a much better deal than Twitter, as the latter is currently riding high on a surge of popularity and would probably command much more than its true worth from any prospective buyer – possibly the reason why merger talks failed back in March.

Twitter-esque feeds and functionality are already available on Facebook and their new iPhone app. They need not acquire Twitter to mimic that functionality. Facebook’s user base is also much larger – 250 million and counting!

The speed with which Facebook has rolled out the real-time search functionality, though, indicates that rather than combat Twitter’s micro-blogging dominance, their main objective is dominance of the real-time search space, which could then turn into yet another giant’s battleground, this time between Google, Microsoft and Facebook.