When Friendfeed launched, it was supposed to be the ultimate sharing service that was going to beat Twitter. So why is traffic to the service down post-Facebook acquisition?Web trending service Compete shows Friendfeed down nearly 30% in September with 750,000 U.S. unique visitors. This is down from just over 1 million unique visitors in August 2009.
Former Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang noted this past weekend, "To be honest, Friendfeed doesn't have the same appeal it used to post-FB acquisition. I'll just cut my losses and use Facebook instead." Robert Scoble, the most popular Friendfeed user, is now using Twitter's favorites feature to share content.
Louis Gray reported this weekend that former Friendfeed, now Facebook employee Gary Burd has left the company as of Friday. Gray notes that it wasn't because Burd wasn't happy but because he wasn't interested in telecommuting from Seattle any longer. Burd is now looking for local projects to get involved with.
These days I find myself only loading Friendfeed a couple of times a day. The service seems to load and react slower than pre-acquisition. I receive nearly zero interaction on my shares, feed posts and comments. The ability to drum up a conversation certainly has diminished post-acquisition. Why is this? If the service wasn't acquired, would the level of interaction still be high? It is interesting to look at how quickly the early adopters packed up their carriages and started the horses after the Facebook acquisition was announced. When I asked this question earlier in the week, there was a good discussion on the topic on Friendfeed itself.
Twittercism provides additional analysis and metrics for Friendfeed, Twitter and Facebook.
Edelman VP Steve Rubel noted that blogging service Posterous has caught FriendFeed in terms of traffic. While comparing Posterous to Friendfeed is like comparing a bagel to a piece of fish, his graphs from Google Trends also show Friendfeed down big since the acquisition.
So what happens to Friendfeed now? My guess is that the service will continue to lose users and will eventually fade away with the popular features ported over to Facebook. This would be very, very unfortunate since I believe that the Friendfeed technology has the potential to create huge disruption in the forums software arena.
This week I've learned that vBulletin 4.0 is coming...perhaps they have been listening.