In theory, I get the idea of having everything (RSS feeds, Twitter, blog posts, comments, etc.) aggregated in one, convenient place – something described as social media aggregation. It makes sense as the digital world becomes busier and more scattered.
In practice, Friendfeed is just too busy and loud. There’s so much stuff being collected and presented that it’s somewhat overwhelming. As a result, I may check Friendfeed out every couple of days to see what’s happening.
Perhaps I’m not getting it but Friendfeed strikes me yet another place to check out along with e-mail, Techmeme, GMail and Twitter. Perhaps my lack of enthusiasm for Friendfeed has to do with my goal to reduce the amount of digital noise – an approach that regularly sees me turn Twitter off until at least noon to reduce the number of distractions.
Nevertheless, Friendfeed has a growing number of disciples (Louis Gray, Robert Scoble, Steve Rubel, etc.) who swear by it. Mike Arrington even claims Friendfeed is luring Twitter users tired of the never-ending technical woes.
The big question is whether Friendfeed is the next Facebook or if it’s just the new, shiny toy for the digerati? Although Friendfeed had 45% more users last month in the U.S. compared to April, it’s still pretty small in the scheme of things.
Perhaps Friendfeed is a solid, niche service as opposed to something with mainstream potential. The chart below suggests Friendfeed is enjoying nice growth but nothing terribly spectacular.
Perhaps as Friendfeed adds more services, it will resonate with a wider audience but, for now, my sense is Friendfeed is the new cat’s meow for the always-on, always-connected digerati, which has a solid track record of happily moving from one cool service to another amid the continuous search the next new thing.