Does The Facebook-Friendfeed Marriage Work For You?
Posted by Sharon Hurley Hall on August 12th, 2009
When I heard the news that Facebook had acquired Friendfeed, I was somewhat taken aback. Like many others, I’m not sure I’m happy about it, though I’m trying to keep an open mind. There’s a lot of talk about why the move is good for Facebook from a business point of view, but what about from a user’s point of view? For me, the issue is that I use Facebook and Friendfeed in completely different ways.
How I Use Friendfeed
For me, Friendfeed has three purposes:
- to aggregate all my stuff - it’s probably the lifestreaming tool I use most
- to share that stuff with friends from various networks
- to find real time information about topics that interest me
Whatever I put on Friendfeed is publicly available and shareable with anyone who subscribes to or views my feed. Since I use it in part to promote the blogs I write for, that’s great. I’ve also been able to find conversations on Friendfeed that I haven’t found through other social sites.
How I Use Facebook
For me, Facebook is different. I am selective about who sees the information I post. You have to be on my friends list to see more than the basics and you have to be someone I actually know and trust to see more personal information. Facebook is a way for me to share things about my life with my friends around the world - not with everyone I’ve ever connected with.
What worries me about the acquisition is that sharing all your stuff (a la Friendfeed) could become the norm on Facebook, as recent moves by Facebook suggest that it is moving to more openness. Am I paranoid to be concerned? Remember the furore in February over Facebook’s changes to the Terms of Service. Although the company eventually backed down, it’s not rocket science to assume that you could suddenly find yourself automatically sharing with the world stuff you would rather keep for a small group. What do you think? Does the Facebook-Friendfeed marriage work for you?
Sharon Hurley Hall
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