May 06, 2009

FriendFeed Simplifies Joining Process from Twitter, Enhances Syncing

Twitter's rapid growth alongside increased adoption by public figures, celebrities and practically anyone who wants their message heard has not come in a vacuum. Many of the millions of tweets being sent each week are flowing downstream to various social networks, including Facebook and FriendFeed - both of which offer a more diverse content sharing set, including photos and video. But despite the expanded options by both networks, including the ability to "like" items and participate in threaded conversations, some Twitter users have balked - citing complexity. On Tuesday, FriendFeed took a major step to simplify the joining process for Twitter users, giving them a much-needed kick-start into what many people, including me, are using as their central nervous system for social activity.

Twitter users who are don't yet have FriendFeed accounts can head to, and by leveraging Twitter's new adoption of OAuth to let third party applications connect with users while not demanding they turn over their password, can join FriendFeed almost instantly by clicking the Twitter icon. Once granted access, FriendFeed will automatically find all your Twitter contacts already using FriendFeed, and will import your Twitter profile and avatar - essentially replicating the personal elements of your Twitter account, but in a new place with more flexibility.

The New Joining Page Features a Twitter Icon

OAuth Connects Your Twitter to FriendFeed

Just Say Yes to Get Connected

Meanwhile, for existing FriendFeed users, their remains the option to find friends who are connected on other services, from Facebook, as has been in place since FriendFeed's debut, Twitter, Yahoo!, Hotmail and GMail, by using the "Find Your Friends" option.

A few months ago, when the company first introduced synchronization capabilities with Twitter, I had added more than 2,000 new contacts. But as both services have grown, I found more than 1,000 more of my new Twitter followers were already using FriendFeed, and I synched up again this evening, adding them to a group I call "Twitter Clone".

See Those Friends of Yours From Twitter on FriendFeed

As of this evening, of my 8,932 Twitter followers, 3,974 are using FriendFeed - good for about 45% of the total. I somewhat jokingly told the other nearly 5,000 that they are either bots or too stubborn to get on a site that has become a major hub for information discovery, sharing and discussion.

I Get All Synched Up

While it's fun to talk about who is going to buy who, or which service is going to kill the other, the fewer barriers that are there to help novice users transition between the two sites, the greater the adoption will be. FriendFeed is not naive enough to fight Twitter head on, but they are doing a solid effort to capitalize on the total growth of social media - of which they are playing an increasing role.

See also Zee's earlier coverage of the announcement on TheNextWeb:
With 1 click Friendfeed introduces the art of conversation to Twitter