In a surprise announcement today, Facebook acquires FriendFeed; the social network aggregator.
The official press release goes something like this.
PALO ALTO, Calif. — August 10, 2009 — Facebook today announced that it has agreed to acquire FriendFeed, the innovative service for sharing online. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.
“Facebook and FriendFeed share a common vision of giving people tools to share and connect with their friends,” said Bret Taylor, a FriendFeed co-founder and, previously, the group product manager who launched Google Maps. “We can’t wait to join the team and bring many of the innovations we’ve developed at FriendFeed to Facebook’s 250 million users around the world.”
To me, this is a very strange acquisition. I understand the value of both Facebook and FriendFeed separately but together they make a very unusual match. How does FaceBook plan to use this service? Does it want to integrate other social media outlets into facebook so that people never leave their pages? If so, could they not have just built this themselves? It can’t be for the userbase, I assume a large percentage of users of friendfeed already use facebook. I will have to keep an eye on this to see where it is going.
I also understand the points Robert Scoble makes in his post about the merger (http://scobleizer.com/2009/08/10/facebook-friendfeed/) but I still think it was a much better deal for FriendFeed (Couldn’t Facebook figure out RealTime Search?).
Let me know what you think. Why did FaceBook make this purchase?