One man is on fire right now: the super Friendfeed enthusiast, aka Robert Scoble, is going all out on the freshly-released advanced search features of his favorite social network. I have to admit that Twitter should bow down to this: you can apply filters to items, titles, comments, sources, user associations, rooms, user’s comments, user’s likes, comments number, likes number. Cherry on top, you can grab the RSS of any search query. This is so good it’s a little overwhelming. It’s gold as far as the eye can see for the PR crowd.
This is really impressive, and Scobleizer is already organizing discussions to publicize the benefits of the search engine. A few months back, I pulled my attention away from Twitter to focus it on Friendfeed. in addition to the richer data, there is also the advantage that everything is built-in: The syndication from different sources, the search, the destinations (IM), the fits-all-devices mail2friendfeed feature, the re-distribution (Twitter), the social interactions (comments, likes). Exactly what we all need.
Friendfeed is really generous with its users, needless to say. Today, we also saw that Friendfeed was generous with the plants that power its existence: Its sources (ie all the social networks Friendfeed aggregates). A few days back, Ma.gnolia‘s servers crashed, taking a lot of users’ data down. Since today, the smart users who syndicated their Ma.gnolia activities to Friendfeed can restore their bookmarks by exporting them from Friendfeed and back into Ma.gnolia.
Friendfeed doesn’t only extend the reach of its sources, it also backs them up in case their own data is lost. It brings reliability and flexibility in the social media sphere, the same Gmail did for emails. But what is Friendfeed’s plan to make money anyway? Will they go Amazon-style and charge their sources for storage? Will they provide Ning-style white label social networks? Will they go with a Facebook-style Friendfeed Connect? Will they go Twitter-style and restrict their fire hose to a few?
I am not good with predictions. I think Friendfeed still has a small userbase, and it is still in a phase of attracting early-adopting tech savvy people. Twitter is bigger, but Friendfeed is so much juicier, I too am drooling all over it!