When Facebook acquired FriendFeed many Web professionals no doubt shrugged their shoulders. On the surface, it's only social media, right?
Below the surface of this acquisition lies a major - no, a colossal bit of news for the industry. Earlier this month it was revealed that Facebook was now the fourth largest site on the Internet. That means - in no uncertain terms - that your consumers and prospects are spending massive amounts of their time online on Facebook. Are you?
The importance of Facebook's purchase in FriendFeed comes into play in both the users of the service and the technology behind it. As for the users, they will soon be integrated further into Facebook than any other social utility by default. As for the technology, FriendFeed is essentially a social search and interaction utility. Users can find the latest trends on a number of social utilities and see updates as well as update their own status' on those websites. It's a one-stop social shop.
The more time users spend on social sites, the more information is shared. The more information on these networks, the more users will search for relevant information there - perhaps something about your business or products. FriendFeed also just recently released real-time search across the social landscape, something not even Google can do. We've noted the importance of having a business presence of Facebook in the past. You can connect with users on a very personal level, as well as broadcast critical information about your business to them and all their friends by providing a valuable experience. Now, when FriendFeed becomes integrated into Facebook, all of your social business extensions will become a part of, you guessed it, the Facebook experience.
In short, if your business isn't yet making Facebook a part of your online strategy, you're in mortal danger.
FriendFeed will not take over Facebook. But imagine a nice little sidebar in every user's profile that pulls in updates - in real time - from all their other social networks. We're talking multiple touch points on the same page - more chances to share and more chances for consumers to spread your message. This makes FriendFeed a secondary experience to Facebook. That means yes, you should have a presence on other social networks, but don't for a minute fall asleep on the 800 lb. gorilla. The main experience of Facebook - the user home page - is still where you want to be. That happens by providing a good experience and recruiting fans to your business Facebook Page.
Here's another side note to this news: FriendFeed and Facebook are going to obliterate Twitter unless they make a bold, rapid move. With FriendFeed, you're not limited to 140 characters, and you can include multimedia within updates. Same goes for Facebook updates. With FriendFeed integration, Facebook looks to be THE online social portal. Twitter looks like a one-trick pony. And have you noticed that your most recent followers on Twitter are loaded with SPAM and adult-themed accounts? Yuck.