Recently, Facebook released a live feed feature for the homepage of Facebook users. This new feature allows you to see the latest updates by your Facebook friends in real-time. You could compare it to functionality thatFriendFeed and Twitter already have with instant updates from any friend. Since Facebook released this feature, numerous posts have been made calling it a killer of FriendFeed and Twitter. While we appreciate the update, we don’t think it’s that big of a deal.
A Hindrance, Not A Killer
This new feature may be a hindrance in the mainstream adoption of Twitter and FriendFeed, but it definitely won’t kill them. Three reasons why are:
- Different Uses
- Overlapping Features
- Consistent Growth
FriendFeed and Twitter are here to stay. They’ve created a relatively large and loyal following of passionate users. In doing so, these services will continue to grow regardless of the competition.
I’m a member of all three services. However, I use them all for different reasons. I use Facebook for my school and personal life. On Facebook I can goof off, talk smack, and not worry about getting in trouble for it. Facebook is strictly for keeping up with real life friends and having fun. Twitter is my best networking tool. I use Twitter for keeping in touch with contacts that I’ve made, while making more connections. Essentially, I use Twitter the way some people would useLinkedIn. I just find Twitter’s atmosphere a little more relaxed and diverse than LinkedIn. FriendFeed is the tool I use for finding more information about select topics. On FriendFeed, there are plenty of interesting discussions going on around several topics of interests. FriendFeed provides not only a centralized location for all of these topics, but an easily accessible location too. I don’t have to jump from blog to blog like I would with Techmeme, just to keep up with the discussion.
While others may also find different uses for all of these services, some features may simply overlap. For example, I use each tool whenever I can to network with others. The only difference is how much networking I can do on one service versus another. With each tool I can find new things to talk about with friends and new contacts. Both Facebook and FriendFeed have threaded replies. However, the likelihood of me replying to the same discussions on both services is slim to none. With Facebook and Twitter, I’m encourage to go on a replying spree. With FriendFeed, I’m encouraged to only speak when I have something relatively thoughtful to say. Either way, I’m comfortable with the etiquette for the reply feature on all three services. Each feature on each services provides a certain level of engagement. This level of engagement is dependent upon what the user is using the service for. In the end, Facebook is simply overlapping in features with FriendFeed and Twitter, but these features aren’t killer features because everyone will use them differently.
It’s in the Charts
If the above paragraphs weren’t enough to convince, you can always take a look at the numbers of each service. Here’s how FriendFeed and Twitter match up with their competitors:
FriendFeed and Twitter clearly outrank their respective competitors by a mile. They don’t compare to Facebook’s traffic, but their growth has not stopped due to any feature releases by their competitors let alone Facebook. Their futures look bright and we support all three services 100%. Facebook features will only serve as hindrances in their growth, not outright show-stoppers. On top of everything, Facebook is making a ridiculously late entrance with some of these features. While we applaud the effort, we don’t think it’s enough to make any Twitter or FriendFeed user leave these services for Facebook.