Lifestream.fm came onto the scene back in April of this year and was soon acquired by (once politically incorrect) social bookmarking company, Mister Wong. At the time of their launch, Lifestream.fm looked like just another attempt to compete with social media darling FriendFeed, and one that didn't really offer anything too special. But now that the service is under new ownership, they've been busy recoding, adding features, and fixing bugs. But have they done enough to warrant a second look?
Note: Check bottom of post for invites.
Since the acquisition, Lifestream.fm has added several new features, including the following:
- Comments - You can now leave comments on items posted.
- Filters - Filter services and followers
- Search - Not just your stream, but all of Lifestream.fm for content and friends
- Import your friends from your address book
- See your last visitors displayed
- Extended profiles with contact info
- Delete posted items to your stream
- A German version supporting new German services
More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that Lifestream.fm now supports 56 services - compare that to FriendFeed's 41. Of course, we all know that number of services alone isn't enough - if it was, then Profilactic and their 186 services would be wildly successful. However, some of Lifestream.fm's services are those that are missing from FriendFeed - most notably Facebook, but also Xbox Live, Muxtape, eBay, and many other smaller services like We Heart It, iliketotallyloveit, and Wakoopa. They also offer you the option to add your YouTube Favs (favorited videos) or your YouTube Uploads or both.
The built-in filters let you block services or users from your "With Others" view of the lifestream, but they're nowhere near as specialized or granular as FriendFeed's "Hide" feature.
What is interesting is that Lifestream.fm is offering an AIR app right off the bat - a nod to this increasingly popular format (and source of my new addiction). An AIR app would be great if it worked, but unfortunately...
Yes, I spelled "sarahintampa" correctly...
Also, I had some issues with the import tool in Firefox (IE worked OK), but that may be a case of my finicky Firefox 3 installation :
It's possible then that the site's new direction is to establish themselves as the German FriendFeed. Part of their revamp has been the coding a German-language version with support for various German services and that's where Lifestream.fm may have a shot. Increasingly in the world of web apps, localized versions that range from blatant rip-offs to clones that offer new features, have a shot at success when they target a narrow market like those users in a particular country or who speak a certain language - look at China's Facebook clones, for example.
Beyond attracting a new German audience, though, Lifestream.fm still doesn't seem to hold enough appeal to attract the "casual" lifestreamer to their service - if there even is such a thing, considering that lifestreaming is still very much an early adopter toy. Only lifestreaming fanatics will sign up for another lifestreaming service besides FriendFeed and actively use it if it doesn't offer some incredible new features - like say, figuring out how to unlock Facebook's mini-feed or offering some killer new noise-reduction technology. In many cases, when you're competing against an already popular web app, you often have to innovate big or go local - otherwise the chance for success may be small.
That being said, if you are a lifestreaming fanatic, I acquired some invite codes to the closed beta (the site closed once acquired) if you want to check it out.They are available below: