For some strange reason I’ve recently noticed more people subscribing to my Friendfeed, um, feed.
I can’t figure out why this should be. Let’s look at Google Insights, which shows us how many searches are done for a search term and therefore gives an idea of interest around a particular subject:
Hmmm, looks like it’s on an upward curve but then again most things social media are nowadays.
Let’s do some qual – what are people saying about Friendfeed? Fortunately Techcrunch has very recently written about Friendfeed. Under the heading ‘FriendFeed Is In Danger Of Becoming The Coolest App No One Uses’, Michael Arrington says:
FriendFeed has less* users today than it did last October, according to Comscore. Cofounder Paul Buchheit says that isn’t accurate (and I believe him), but it’s clear that the service hasn’t grown much in the last few months. Twitter is adding more users every week than FriendFeed has in total.
* He means fewer, obviously.
The problem I have is that FriendFeed now appears to be the master of none. What was clearly a social aggregator and base level social network is now trying hard to be like Facebook and Twitter combined (and as someone suggested on FriendFeed, IRC as well.) To note this though is to not dislike it, but instead appreciate the why… FriendFeed is taking the last throw of the dice to greatness.
He mentions a recent revamp. Could this be why there’s a temporary increase in activity?
At the beginning of the year Brian Solis offered a nice analysis of Friendfeed, pointing out how its trajectory could be Twitter-like. I must admit, over the past few months I’ve been telling people the same thing. Who could have predicted how Twitter would take off? Only last year its Interest chart looked like this:
I wouldn’t have predicted the explosive growth we’ve just seen from that chart. So perhaps there’s hope for Friendfeed yet?
I’m undecided. Friendfeed’s real problem seems to be that everything Friendfeed does, Twitter and Facebook can do too. I’ve seen companies that are full of great ideas that just don’t quite make it. When I really think about Friendfeed, I hardly ever use it myself now. I do hope they think of something to get them across the chasm.