The owners of the popular social networking website Facebook have acquired FriendFeed, a web service that allowed users to share information with friends and groups easily. Details on the acquisition are sparse at the moment with the exception that FriendFeed will continue its service for the time being. All FriendFeed engineers will join the Facebook development team and it is likely that features that made FriendFeed popular will be added to Facebook in the near future.
It is not clear at this point in time if FriendFeed's service will continue to be offered or if the website will be shut down eventually.
Both parties involved seem to be very happy with the deal while many members of the FriendFeed community appear disgruntled. Two of the main concerns are related to privacy. One fear is that user data will be carried over to Facebook, another that Facebook and FriendFeed are being used to address different groups of people. Many use Facebook to stay in touch with close friends and family while FriendFeed was being used as a way to communicate with groups of users who shared similar interests.
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.”
“As we spent time with Mark and his leadership team, we were impressed by the open, creative culture they’ve built and their desire to have us contribute to it,” said Paul Buchheit, another FriendFeed co-founder. Buchheit, the Google engineer behind Gmail and the originator of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, added, “It was immediately obvious to us how passionate Facebook’s engineers are about creating simple, ground-breaking ways for people to share, and we are extremely excited to join such a like-minded group.”
Taylor and Buchheit founded FriendFeed along with Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh in October 2007 after all four played key roles at Google for products like Gmail and Google Maps. At FriendFeed, they’ve brought together a world-class team of engineers and designers.
“Since I first tried FriendFeed, I’ve admired their team for creating such a simple and elegant service for people to share information,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “As this shows, our culture continues to make Facebook a place where the best engineers come to build things quickly that lots of people will use.”
FriendFeed is based in Mountain View, Calif. and has 12 employees. FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being as the teams determine the longer term plans for the product.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not released.
FriendFeed blog post:
We are happy to announce that Facebook has acquired FriendFeed. As my mom explained to me, when two companies love each other very much, they form a structured investment vehicle...
The FriendFeed team is extremely excited to become a part of the talented Facebook team. We've always been great admirers of Facebook, and our companies share a common vision. Now we have the opportunity to bring many of the innovations we've developed at FriendFeed to Facebook's 250 million users around the world and to work alongside Facebook's passionate engineers to create even more ways for you to easily share with your friends online.
What does this mean for my FriendFeed account?
FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being. We're still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team. As usual, we will communicate openly about our plans as they develop — keep an eye on the FriendFeed News group for updates.
My humble prediction is that FriendFeed will continue operations until the end of the migration phase. Any thoughts on this? Possible alternatives?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.