Mionews proves why API’s are a must

Mionews is a new FriendFeed service that delivers FriendFeed through a tabbed, nearly Google Reader or even Outlook type view. Discovered by Louis Gray, the service from Patrick Lightbody offers a different take on FriendFeed data, one, dare I say, that might be an easier gateway into the service from a broader consumer market that has grown up on the look, so is instantly at ease with it.

Some of the cool features include Twitter and blog integration (although I couldn’t get Twitter to work, but I presume it appears as a tab/ choice), the ability to like and hate posts, and a semantic engine that takes that data and filters content based on your choices. You can even set up general keyword tabs that deliver data based on the term, creating a monitoring service as well.

I’m grown particularly fond on the standard FriendFeed layout, but that doesn’t mean that others won’t like this. When I hacked together the FriendFeed Greasemonkey scripts a month back, part of the goal was to integrate others services within the FriendFeed experience via tabs. Mionews does this as well by the external service integration, although they are attempting to do it properly, not just a browser based work around. Only earlier today I was noting on my new Posterous blog that the noise level is getting to the stage again that it’s difficult to keep up with all the various services, Mionews looks like it might be heading in the integrated multi-platform direction, and that’s a very good space to be moving into.

Whether you like Mionews or not, there is one certain thing it does demonstrate: API’s are a must for new services. Here’s a service that will deliver new people to FriendFeed, so FriendFeed wins, and no doubt with a centralized portal role with its own internal sharing (I didn’t mention that previously, but it is offered) the developer(s) of Mionews win as well. For users, we get innovative, new tools that offer exciting and different ways to use our existing services, or as gateways into services we use in the future. Pownce learned the hard way that companies without an API from very early on fail, the growing number of interesting FriendFeed apps shows that FF has a strong future….hopefully though without the failings of the first huge API driven success story, Twitter.

Update: I should have clarified this in the post, Twitter not working in Mionews was an API issue with Twitter, not Mionews’ doing. It should work for others…at the time I tried to set it up, Twhirl wouldn’t connect to Twitter either.