Home Weekly Wrapup: Facebook Buys FriendFeed, Distributed Social Networking, Google Caffeine, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Facebook Buys FriendFeed, Distributed Social Networking, Google Caffeine, And More…

In this edition of the Weekly Wrapup – our newsletter summarizing the top stories of the week – we report on and analyze the acquisition of lifestreaming company FriendFeed by Facebook. We also explore a new trend that may route around both companies: distributed social networking. In other news this week: Facebook announced that user updates will be searchable, Google unveiled a faster search infrastructure, Microsoft and Nokia announced a partnership around Office apps, Gartner released its latest Hype Cycle, and social networking statistics were revealed suggesting that younger generations keep track of their online friends better than offline ones. We also check in on our two new channels: ReadWriteEnterprise (devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ trends and products) and ReadWriteStart (dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs).

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Web Products

Facebook Acquires FriendFeed for $50 Million

The big news this week was Facebook acquiring popular lifestreaming company FriendFeed for about $50m, $15m in cash and the rest in Facebook stock. According to a post by Bret Taylor on the FriendFeed blog, FriendFeed will continue to operate normally for the time being while the two companies figure out the long-term plans. The purchase makes sense, as Facebook had continually copied parts of FriendFeed’s feature set – including the ‘like’ feature and Facebook’s new focus on the real-time stream.

Facebook Users: Here’s What FriendFeed Brings to the Family

It’s going to be a little like the Brady Bunch, this union between Facebook and the just-acquired social networking service FriendFeed. Both families will influence each other a lot, though Facebook is far, far bigger. FriendFeed was co-founded by Paul Buchheit, the man who invented GMail, and by Bret Taylor, who co-founded Google Maps. Here’s what they bring to Facebook; it’s probably going to change Facebook a lot.

Facebook Updates Are Now Searchable

Also this week Facebook announced that it’s opened up search across all status messages, notes and shared links that users have marked as public. Searching across all users, whether you know them or not, requires a couple of clicks – but the availability of the feature marks a dramatic turning point in the history of Facebook. For months the company has been pushing users towards being more public and less private. This is why.

10 Ways to Archive Your Tweets

Did you know that your tweets have an expiration date on them? While they never really disappear from your own Twitter stream, they become unsearchable in only 1.5 weeks. That’s bad for users and it’s definitely bad for data-mining. Unless Twitter corrects this issue on its own, we have to find another solution for archiving tweets ourselves. Here are 10 ways to do so.

Caffeine: Google Tests New Search Infrastructure

Just as Facebook announces internal search for public notes, Google counters with an effort to improve on its existing services. In a blog post, the company unveiled its new Caffeine search infrastructure to web developers. The question is, will Caffeine enhance performance or lead to user anxiety?

See also: iGoogle is Now Social: Google Launches Social Gadgets

Tiny App Confuses, Delights: Check Out Robo.to, Next-Gen Animated GIFs

From “massively small products” shop Particle, itself a startup newly out of stealth mode, comes a new app: Robo.to, pitched to us as a digital calling card. Although the app first struck us as a skinnier Retaggr with an animated GIF-esque Flash avatar slapped on the top, something quirky and cute drew us back and elicited deeper digging.


A Word from Our Sponsors

We’d like to thank ReadWriteWeb’s sponsors, without whom we couldn’t bring you all these stories every week!

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Our channel devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ and using social software inside organizations. Sponsored by Socialtext.

Microsoft & Nokia: Not Just Office, It’s the Whole Mobile Enterprise

This week news broke that Microsoft and Nokia were announcing a partnership that would take Office outside of Windows Mobile for the first time. It’s now clear that this isn’t just Word, Excel, and PowerPoint slapped onto Nokia smartphones: the world’s largest cellphone maker will now support a whole slew of key enterprise software from Microsoft.


Our channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.

VC Series A Web Tech Deals in July

We have been tracking Series A deals in Web technology since the market mayhem in October 2008, and since May we have been working with ChubbyBrain, which tracks this kind of data full-time. Early-stage funding is important for the whole economy. The executive summary for July: steady progress and a lot of deals in the Boston area.


Web Trends

Is a Perfect Storm Forming For Distributed Social Networking?

Maybe it’s better to host your own. That’s the thinking coming from a growing number of early technology adopters as service after service goes down, sells out or otherwise frustrates the users. The prospect of a distributed, interoperable, self-hosted network of publishing, reading and discussion tools is nothing new – but the idea is gaining a lot more support as more people react to recent news like FriendFeed’s sale to Facebook, Tr.im’s up and down and Twitter’s denial of service attacks.

Gartner Hype Cycle 2009: Web 2.0 Trending Up, Twitter Down

Analyst firm Gartner released its latest Hype Cycle white paper this week, detailing some of the biggest trends in technology this year. According to the report, cloud computing, e-books and Internet TV are at the “Peak of Inflated Expectations,” while this year’s biggest hit Twitter is said to have “tipped over the peak” and is just about to enter the infamous “Trough of Disillusionment.” Interestingly, web 2.0 is deemed to be nearly past the Trough and entering the “Slope of Enlightenment.”

Product Managers & Marketers: What The Internet of Things Means For You

Some of you may be reading our series on the Internet of Things and wondering: what use is this to me in my daily work? So one day my fridge will be able to tell me when the milk has run out, when I travel my luggage will have an RFID tag and not be lost, my home will be automated via Twitter. But will it affect your job? If you’re a product manager or marketer, read on to find out how this will affect you.

Your “Real” Friends are Your Online Friends (or so Says Gen Y)

Is it easier to talk to your online buddies than your friends out there in the “real world?” Do you feel like you know more about what’s happening in the lives of your Facebook and MySpace friends than with those who don’t have accounts or don’t bother to update them? According to a recent UK MySpace study, these sorts of feelings are common among today’s younger generation.


That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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