Ronnie05's Blog

Facebook buys out Friendfeed

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on August 11, 2009

Facebook, the largest networking site in the world is all set to buy Friendfeed, an up-and-coming social media startup, lets people share content online in real time across various social networks and blogs. The deal is worth $50 million with $15 million in cash and $35 million in Facebook stocks. Facebook had in 2008, tried to snap Twitter for $500 million.This is yet another major partnership deal after the recent Microsoft-Yahoo search deal.

What Facebook gains in this acquisition is the engineering talent at FriendFeed, rather than the actual product, which has won critical praise, but lagged in popularity compared to Twitter.FriendFeed was looked upon as close competitor of Twitter, microblogging service for the same task – sharing information online.FriendFeed’s 12-employee team will join Facebook family. The four founders of FriendFeed – Paul Buchheit, Bret Taylor, Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh, will take senior positions in Facebook’s Engineering and Product teams.FriendFeed’s four founders are former Google Inc employees who count well known products like Gmail and Google Maps among their accomplishments.

Commenting on the post-acquisition process, Marc Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, stated that in the present  FriendFeed will work as it is as long as the founders lay out future plans for integration of both services. Facebook’s FriendFeed acquisition is buzzed as directly challenging Google and leap frogs Twitter

Commenting on the acquisition, Forrester Research analyst Jeremiah Owyang said that the having the founders of Friendfeed on the Facebook team would be beneficial for Facebook in the long run, because the 4 founders were very competenet in building scalable, social applications. Owang also commented that Facebook must make the content generated within Friendfeed more accessible to the public instead of only to closed networks of Facebook friends, so that Facebook can sell more ads.

This is in line with Facebook’s policy.Earlier this year, Facebook announced changes to its privacy controls to allow people to make their status messages and posts viewable to a broader Internet audience.

Where does that put Google and Twitter?

Twitter has been facing some problems like the recent worm and DDoS Attack, database upscaling issues. People cannot see their tweets older than two days or to a week if they don’t tweet frequently. So having that glittering five figure updates is pointless since you’ll never get to see your first update. 

In May 2009, Google was eyeing to acquire Twitter since the search giant was interested to venture into real-time search. However, the indexing of old Twitter updates for real-time search results has been quite an issue lately. If Google buys Twitter then all the search excellence can be used for tweaking Twitter’s search code. 

Facebook will now make use of ex-Google’s excellence in expanding Facebook platform to the next paradigm: Real-time search. Google and Twitter could quickly need to tie up for mutual partnership on Twitter’s search technology. Else, Facebook and Friendfeed could prove to be a more formidable threat than Microsoft and Yahoo Combine!


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