FriendFeed development ceasing soon

Ronny Kerr · October 22, 2009 · Short URL:

FriendFeed founder denies site will be axed, but confirms the end of considerable updates

friendfeedEver since Facebook bought FriendFeed, things just haven't been the same.

But then, who didn't expect change? Everyone expected the site to lose priority to Facebook and everyone expected the site's developers to focus on Facebook's grand ambitions instead of coding updates to FriendFeed's comparably tiny social network. But still, some FriendFeed users just hoped it wouldn't happen so quickly.

One particularly sentimental user wrote "an open letter to whoever controls the fate of FriendFeed," in which he expounds on his perspective of the unique and beautiful and special community that users have created at FriendFeed. His writing, seeking to portray the immense regard with which some users hold the social networking site, immediately betrays his fanaticism. (The fact that yoFriendFeed's biggest fanur wife has an account is unimpressive. The fact that your 3-year-old has an account merely reflects obsessiveness.)

Nevertheless, the writer asks some important questions of the power-that-be: "I understand that you have a brand to protect and you are in the business of making money, but how hard would it be to keep the servers turned on? Would you be open to ideas like an ad-supported model? Some other way way [sic] of ‘paying our own way’?"

His letter received such applause from the FriendFeed community that it got attention of at least one of those in charge: Paul Buchheit, the site's founder and angel investor.

"First, FriendFeed is _not_ going away. (in fact, we're working on switching it to new servers)," Buchheit responded. "Second, I know everyone wants to know what the team is working on, but we don't pre-announce things, so for now all I can say is that there's good stuff on the way."

Reading this response alone, one might be led into a fit of optimism about the future of the site, as if things were to continue fine and dandy and that that whole Facebook purchase thing never happened, right? Right?

Unfortunately, in a second comment released by the Tech News Blog yesterday, Buchheit told Jim Connolly that major updates to FriendFeed are pretty much not happening anymore:

"Jim, there may be a few new things, but as I said, the team is mainly working on [Facebook] platform and openness, so it’s unlikely that there will be any big new features of [FriendFeed] (except maybe one that I’ve been thinking about for a while…)."

And we're back to square one.

Though FriendFeed is indeed going to stay online (at least long enough to warrant switching to new servers), the site will no longer see serious development. All the tech news sites knew this before, but it's probably worth repeating: Facebook purchased FriendFeed so that its highly skilled, highly experienced, and highly knowledgeable group of programmers could help Facebook improve its already-booming social site.

FriendFeed development is done.

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