Overview: friendfeed is a noble attempt to bring the countless social media applications out there under one roof, to make it easy to keep up with every bookmark, video, link, review, RSS, and otherwise that your friends might be posting on the internet. Unfortunately, friendfeed still has some work to do.
Defined: Launched with huge investment and anticipation in early 2008, friendfeed has enormous aspirations of being the goto site for social media users to keep up with numerous applications simultaneously all on one screen. Users can currently link up their profiles with automatic feeds from 59 social media applications, including blogs, bookmarks, photos, videos, and more. Using customizable lists of friends, users can then follow all the social media movements of select friends or contacts of interest. Users also have the opportunity to join groups in order to follow specific people that share similar interests. All of this aggrigation naturally creates a tidal wave of information, here’s a screenshot to give you a glimpse, you’ll notice friendfeed has every intention of having a clean interface.
The idea to bring all updates from the countless web applications we use under one roof is indeed an important step in making social media increasingly efficient, but friendfeed is not the first attempt to do so; Plaxo, Social Thing!, and Spokeo all have similar features as friendfeed. Google is also getting in on the action, with a similar application called Socialstream set to debut in the near future.
Business Applications: The most obvious business application for friendfeed is time savings. For anyone that fully understands the business value of social media but may not have the time to keep up with the countless applications out there, friendfeed could possibly be a solution to your dilemma.
Recommendation: While friendfeed is certainly a very logical outgrowth of the much segmented and competitive social media market, I don’t find it to be terribly useful. With updates coming in from hundreds of sources it’s rather difficult to keep track of the most pertinent information without being overloaded with useless links. Additionally, friendfeed takes away the interactive aspect of social media (oxymoron?), as comments on shared information are left inside friendfeed. Personally I think friendfeed and other similar applications have enormous potential, but there is still work to be done to help tame the information overload.