Social media services – the farm team league for Facebook ideas

I am a fan of FriendFeed and I hang out on Twitter but I have never been a fan of Facebook. Sure I have an account with the service but I only drop by there once or twice a month – if I remember, usually I have to be reminded to make the visit and get caught up with all the SuperPokes and wandering zombies. While I might bitch a little bit about the user interface for FriendFeed I downright disliked the one on Facebook.

I haven’t even tried to fight my way through the crowd to check out the new look that everyone is talking because – truthfully I’m not the least bit interested. What I am interested in is the new features that they announced as well today, or at least the revamping of an older one (newsfeed) and the addition of a couple new ones. Because what makes it all so interesting is that the socialization of Facebook has been copied from other services.

For the longest time Facebook has been declared as the King of Social Media when it fact it was only the king of Facebook. It was their form of social media that you had to step through the doors of their walled garden to participate. However with their latest moves to be all Social Media Correct they were put in a position where they had to play nice with everyone on the outside of their walls and make them believe that there was a reason to become another Facebooker. They needed to have the same features that the services outside their walls that all the cool kids were using. They had to start opening more doors both ways rather than just one way – inward.

So the first feature they copied was FriendFeed’s basic stream of items and called it their Newsfeed at which point the social media mavens patted themselves on the back saying that they had gotten Facebook to open up. Ya .. okay whatever you say – the fact was this was strictly a business decision to try and attract more users to step through the gateway into Facebook heaven and not need to leave. The next step of course was the much ballyhooed attempt to buy Twitter, which went nowhere but it showed the world what Facebook was planning.

Now we have the big announcement today that saw a change in the advertiser pages and .. are you ready … yes folks Real Time Status Update aka Facebook’s copy of Twitter. They didn’t stop there either .. no sirree … that went back to the FriendFeed well once more and presented to the world the Facebook Likes – or whatever they are calling it.

You seeing a trend here?

If Facebook can’t buy your social media service then they’ll just duplicated it as they have done here with Twitter’s status updating and not one but two FriendFeed features. Now whether or not these new features for Facebook will deal a body blow to either or both of the other two services is still to be seen. It does show us though that Facebook has no compunction about casting its eye over the social media landscape and taking what it needs to grow bigger and give more people a reason to stay behind the Facebook garden wall.

Not to mention the fact that chances are they won’t be back knocking on Twitter’s door again.

[graphic courtesy of Alex Kaminski]