— blending the mix

Friendfeed just boxed itself into a corner

Yesterday, Friendfeed went from THIS:

FF1

To this:

ff2 

 

and in doing so, made a huge impact on its future, nay survival, if you follow Techcrunch’s thinking. And I have to agree. As sad as it is to see something so innovative die, in aligning their interface to Twitter, the latest changes have made Friendfeed neither one thing nor the other – and that can’t be a good thing.

Friendfeed for those that don’t know is actually a pretty clever tool which allows you to track what all of your friends are doing on social networks – radar for social networks if you like and allows you to comment on your friends’ social networking activities which get posted to Friendfeed. You can “like”, comment or repost in Friendfeed and link those actions to Facebook/Twitter and the like. More recently, it created “real-time” functionality which allows Friendfeed users to see a live stream of their friend’s activities

If that hasn’t confused you, then let me put it more simply…look at the recent changes in Facebook. Notice the “like” and “comment” links below your friends’ status updates? The idea for that came from Friendfeed…which leads me nicely to why the new design poses such a problem for Friendfeed.

The speed of the new live-feed aside, as I have alluded to above, Friendfeed’s new interface is much more complicated than Twitter, yet not as clever or feature-rich as Facebook. This means it now sits somewhere in between being too complicated for Twitter users (who, from recent traffic figures seem to love the simple interface!) and not clever enough for Facebook (although you might rightly argue that Facebook is a destination site designed for content storage rather than aggregation), but nevertheless, it doesn’t meet the needs of either audiences particularly well.

Lest we forget Jaiku, which for some time was considered the “better” micro-blogging tool, yet which never really took off. It did the same thing as Twitter, had more features (it even had groups!) but never gained anything like the traction of Twitter. Pontificate you may, but it has to be to the overcomplicating of services that puts people off.

Friendfeed has long been the choice of the uber early-adopter, but I don’t see how this new look can help it’s cause.

Thoughts?

 

4 comments
  1. […] Friendfeed just boxed itself into a corner – Yesterday, Friendfeed went from THIS: To this:     and in doing so, made a huge impact on its future, nay survival, if you follow […]

  2. MartinSFP says: April 12, 20095:11 pm

    The FriendFeed Beta has actually improved my user experience there. I’m subscribed to 125 people so there’s always something new popping up on my screen. It turns the service into a ‘Multimedia Twitter’. By setting up filters for things you want to track it’s still very flexible.

    The thing is though, it’s still very much a niche product. Facebook is much better for ‘real friends’ who want to share links etc. For them FriendFeed would just be too much. In the light of the recent Facebook redesign I don’t think FF could ever be mainstream. However, niche products can still thive. There are people who would love FF – they just need to find it.

  3. MartinSFP says: April 12, 200912:11 pm

    The FriendFeed Beta has actually improved my user experience there. I’m subscribed to 125 people so there’s always something new popping up on my screen. It turns the service into a ‘Multimedia Twitter’. By setting up filters for things you want to track it’s still very flexible.

    The thing is though, it’s still very much a niche product. Facebook is much better for ‘real friends’ who want to share links etc. For them FriendFeed would just be too much. In the light of the recent Facebook redesign I don’t think FF could ever be mainstream. However, niche products can still thive. There are people who would love FF – they just need to find it.

  4. […] quite a lot of people think FF is trying to go Twitter way(at least in terms of looks) and in this pursuit might have hurt itself. The fact that after doing an upgrade users aren’t sure if the changes are useful or not […]

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