So all that is left now is the tears and someone to shut of the lights as the last of Friendfeed fans finishing drowning their sorrows. Yes folks it is a sad, sad day in the world of the real-time web as Friendfeed and Facebook have announced that Facebook has successfully
sucked the life force out of neutralized Friendfeed by making them an offer they couldn’t refuse.
It might have been an all stock deal but I don’t think that the founders and employees of Friendfeed will be hurting at all especially as they will soon start picking up their Facebook badges. The only ones getting screwed out of this whole deal are the thousands upon thousands of people who lived and breathed Friendfeed to make it what it was.
You can be sure that Facebook doesn’t give a shit because for them this was all about the technology and the main people behind it, regardless of press release platitudes. I’d be willing to bet that other than the founders of Friendfeed much of the staff will probably find themselves shuffled off to some boring mindless section of the Facebook Borg machine; at which point resumes will start being passed around.
As much as everyone on Friendfeed is trying to be all chipper and happy as they pat Bret on the back there is still the underlying question – what now?
Well there are some that even at this early point of the take-over are nuking their Friendfeed accounts and probably retreating to Twitter. Others are probably still in a state of shock at how quickly their online community has changed and will eventually become nothing more than a footnote in Wikipedia. Then there are those like myself and others who are wondering why it took so long.
The fact was that this was inevitable. Other than being swallowed up by a larger fish Friendfeed didn’t have an exist point. Its growth for the most part was flat, it had become home to a relatively small number of people with really nothing other than being a real-time labs for other services to
steal borrow from. If it hadn’t been Facebook it would have been either Google or Microsoft that made the move to snap them up.
Not because of the number of users of the system but for the talent that had created Friendfeed. That is where the money was in the long run. Sure much of the web technology that the Friendfeed team came up with will find other uses – it just won’t be Friendfeed. Time to start collecting all that schwag memorabilia and deleting accounts.
The one area of this that is something that should be worrisome – especially as VC funds are a lot harder to come by is the apparent consolidation of power in the the social media field by the big players like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. This is a question Louis asks as well
So what’s happening to this Valley? Is it as dire a situation as it sometimes seems? Are we really going to end up with four mega-companies: FaceBook, Google, Microsoft and Apple? Because if Google or Microsoft can weasel their way into acquiring Twitter, that’s sure how it will seem. If the IPO market continues to be closed, and innovative companies can only knock on doors 1 through 4, that’s not a good thing.
All I know for sure is – one down and one to go.
Next up – Twitter.