Infrastructure // PC & Servers
07:58 AM
Allen Stern
Allen Stern
Secure Your Enterprise's Digital Workspace with a Multilayered Approach
Aug 25, 2016
Client computing is increasingly providing a back door into the enterprise for the compromise and ...Read More>>

How FriendFeed Will Generate Revenue

Earlier this month FriendFeed launched the next version of their API service. It got me thinking about how FriendFeed could generate real revenue and become a real-time search leader.

Earlier this month FriendFeed launched the next version of their API service. It got me thinking about how FriendFeed could generate real revenue and become a real-time search leader.When people ask me to describe FriendFeed, I usually begin by noting, "FriendFeed is a social bulletin board service". At the most basic level, FriendFeed is a forum. The only difference is that instead of users starting threads, they typically suck in threads from other social services like Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc.

There are a variety of popular forum tools including vBulletin and phpBB. I've been using vBulletin on the HTMLCenter web development forums for nearly a decade. vBulletin isn't free; a license costs $180 for life plus $60/year for product upgrades and updates. The software is very powerful, the administrative panel is easy to use and the email support is always very responsive. There's only one real issue with the software - it hasn't moved into 2009. The software still looks and acts as it did 1,2,3, even 5 years ago. You can always tell when a forum is using vBulletin without even looking at the footer. They continue to add improvements and bug fixes which is great but it's time to update the look and the usability to today's standard. The same can be said for phpBB and many of the other forum software packages.

This is where FriendFeed can shine and generate real revenue. They have an awesome opportunity to take over the forum world. While forum software isn't as sexy as creating a Twitter app, there is a real market opportunity which could be there for the taking.

Naturally FriendFeed would need to create a self-hosted version of their tool and modify it to allow for better "forum-like" thread creation. FriendFeed forum owners could also opt to allow their content to be indexed into Friendfeed's new search engine. Take a moment to think about how much more "real-time" data would be included in the FriendFeed search if thousands of popular forums were included/indexed.

The FriendFeed forum service would also allow for better integration with Twitter, naturally Friendfeed and all of the other services FriendFeed will push to in the future. What this means is that forum owners would have new ways to get traffic to their forums.

In addition, there are loads of developers who build apps for vBulletin and my guess is that they might switch to building apps for the Friendfeed forum service. It could be a way to get developers excited about FriendFeed.

I know I would switch my forums over to this new offering and would pay the same price I do to vBulletin. If they created a tie into Wordpress, the FriendFeed forums service could became an even sweeter offering.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
Just because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of August 14, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.