It’s a little step for Friendfeed to add custom themes, but it could have big ramifications if Friendfeed gets rolled out to Facebook users. It’s another example of how Friendfeed can extend Facebook’s presence in an exciting way - by allowing Facebook users to publish customizable public stream pages.
Had to quote Lou Reed to get at what I think about “The Acquisition” of FriendFeed by Facebook. I love Facebook and I love FriendFeed - but their strengths lie in such different places… some would say complimentary, but I worry that’s not the case given the inherent closed nature of Facebook and the inherent open nature of FriendFeed.
Instead of just jamming the two together (or worse, just letting FriendFeed fade away) here’s a quick thought - like bacon + ice cream they’re great on their own… Why not rebrand FriendFeed as Facebook’s channel answer to Twitter and start driving Facebook users there. Don’t have to change much other than that - keep the aggregation, keep the search (both great for targeting), integrate its services into Facebook where appropriate but grow the FriendFeed service itself as a Facebook extension and Twitter competitor.
The operative word is extension. Watch what happens after a few months…. my guess - if you successfully tip Facebook’s user base into FriendFeed, you’d end up with the largest public discussion platform - larger than Twitter - with powerful insights into search and real-time.
Social stacks - I’m seeing them everywhere. Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Peoplebrowsr… it’s all very cute. Which is to say, these rich clients could be a little richer at the moment…. they currently present blocks of statuses with little or any context - making everything look like a Twitter feed: random and hurried. These tools would do well to mimic some of the FriendFeed stream approach. The FriendFeed stream is still the most exciting and rich real-time experience - to see conversations unfold from a topic and branch to others in real-time - wherever that conversation lives.