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Monday August 10, 2009 5:53 pm

Facebook buys FriendFeed




Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Acquisitions, Social Media

Facebook Acquires FriendFeedThe social media Internets are all up in arms this afternoon with the news that FriendFeed has been acquired by Facebook. The full details were announced on the FriendFeed blog, and according to the press release, “all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.”

A lot of the recent Facebook feature additions have been borrowed from, or inspired by, FriendFeed, so the move only makes sense. It brings Facebook directly into the real-time web scene, as they take aim for Twitter.

There is a lot of speculation right now as to what exactly will become of the FriendFeed product, since there is quite a bit of overlap between what FriendFeed does and what Facebook does. Fans of FriendFeed fear that all the features will be rolled into Facebook, while FriendFeed ceases to exist. All we know for now is that “FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being. We’re still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team.” Kind of ominous, I know.

Still, if handled right, Facebook may become the standard for both connecting and real-time sharable status updates. Full press release after the cut.

PALO ALTO, CALIF.—August 10, 2009—Facebook today announced that it has agreed to acquire FriendFeed, the innovative service for sharing online. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.

“Facebook and FriendFeed share a common vision of giving people tools to share and connect with their friends,” said Bret Taylor, a FriendFeed co-founder and, previously, the group product manager who launched Google Maps. “We can’t wait to join the team and bring many of the innovations we’ve developed at FriendFeed to Facebook’s 250 million users around the world.”

“As we spent time with Mark and his leadership team, we were impressed by the open, creative culture they’ve built and their desire to have us contribute to it,” said Paul Buchheit, another FriendFeed co-founder. Buchheit, the Google engineer behind Gmail and the originator of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, added, “It was immediately obvious to us how passionate Facebook’s engineers are about creating simple, ground-breaking ways for people to share, and we are extremely excited to join such a like-minded group.”

Taylor and Buchheit founded FriendFeed along with Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh in October 2007 after all four played key roles at Google for products like Gmail and Google Maps. At FriendFeed, they’ve brought together a world-class team of engineers and designers.

“Since I first tried FriendFeed, I’ve admired their team for creating such a simple and elegant service for people to share information,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “As this shows, our culture continues to make Facebook a place where the best engineers come to build things quickly that lots of people will use.”

FriendFeed is based in Mountain View, Calif. and has 12 employees. FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being as the teams determine the longer term plans for the product.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not released.

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