The latest web craze seems to be centered around FriendFeed's service that, well, lets you view your friends' feeds from other social services and share your own. It seems a little abstract but if you're familiar with the news feed on Facebook, you know where this is coming from. After you've setup a FriendFeed account, you don't really do anything differently - just keep doing what you have been doing on other supported services like Twitter, Pownce, del.icio.us, LinkedIn, your blog, flickr, YouTube and quite a few more.
At first glance, it elicits thoughts along the lines of "this is useless"; the same way I thought about Twitter when it first launched as twttr. 2,400 twitters of my own later, I'm realizing that I was completely wrong. The FriendFeed interface is devoid of much innovation and includes the requisite overly-Web 2.0 logo. The surprising thing about FriendFeed is that it is actually backed by four great, ex-Google minds.
That makes me wonder why they didn't pursue something more interesting to flex their technical prowess and mental acuity. FriendFeed looks and sounds like a web app a few college kids could have pieced together over a fall break. Enough of the FriendFeed knocking, I'll leave that to Uncov.
Will it work?
I started using FriendFeed as an extreme skeptic and questioned whether it would even be worth signing up for. Surprisingly, I think FriendFeed has a shot. I don't think anyone has the time to check out what their friends have done on Flickr, del.icio.us, Twitter, Pownce, etc, on a daily basis. Social network/service/* saturation is so strong these days that one cannot simply keep up with it all - just like RSS feeds.
I've been seeing a trend lately. It's the small, social ideas that can be built by a few people that seem to be striking a chord with many users online. There's not much risk involved - just build it quickly and see what happens. FriendFeed seems to be the latest supporting evidence for this trend.
Chances are you will only think FriendFeed is useful if you have active online buddies; if not, you'll be looking at a stagnant feed. If you're a FriendFeed user, add me. FriendFeed is in a private beta at the moment but it's worth a shot to apply to be a tester.
Do you think FriendFeed has a shot at becoming something big?