It’s happened overnight. Actually, in the past two weeks, since FriendFeed announced a redesign of their site. Suddenly everybody is subscribing to FriendFeed (I’ve noticed a significant uptick in new followers) and it’s looking like the new “it” tool in the social media toolbox.
1. FriendFeed has made it easier to find and subscribe to other FFers
See the graphic below. It takes a couple of clicks to get to this screen (don’t know why they’ve made it so hard to find). Once you do you can click the Twitter icon, for example, and quickly find out which of your Twitter friends are already using FriendFeed. That’s the key, BTW. It’s obvious but worth repeating. They have to have a FriendFeed account in order for you to subscribe to theirs. Registration is free.
2. FriendFeed is an aggregator of the most used social media tools
It’s about that simple. Once you’re following someone on FriendFeed you can see what they’re Twittering, posting to their blog, bookmarking on Delicious, submitting to Digg as newsworthy, adding to their YouTube channel, posting to their Flickr photo account, adding to their Facebook page, etc.
3. FriendFeed displays a real-time stream of conversation from your friends
Frankly, it’s seductive. New content from your friends, whether from Twitter or Flickr or Delicious, pops up in front of your eyes if you’re looking at FriendFeed online. With the new design, you see their comments on your Tweets in a way that makes sense visually.
Caveat: this works because you’re allowing all these different services to access your username and password and trade the data back and forth. It’s part of what’s known as OpenSocial, which is manna for programmers who want to create apps and widgets for Facebook, etc.
Are there privacy risks? No doubt. Is it worth it to access this much information about the friends, colleagues and brands you’re most interested in? Maybe.
For now, at least, know that this is the Next New Thing. It’s probably worth experimenting with and it’s not too hard to jump on the bandwagon.