Why Facebook ended FriendFeed
Low usage levels of the social media platform, which was acquired in 2009 by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) for a huge amount of $50 million, led to the decision to shut it down. This was a major acquisition at that time, with Facebook appointing FriendFeed co-founder Bret Taylor as its CTO.
In a statement to Re/code, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said the service was declining steadily in terms of usage. During the last five years, the service reduced to a very small fraction of what it was at the time of acquisition, and therefore, it was time to shut it down. The social network thanked the FriendFeed community for the support it provided for many years.
“We’ve been maintaining the service for the last five years, but usage has been declining steadily and the community is now just a fraction of what it once was,” Facebook said.
Over time, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) itself has grown tremendously in size with about 250 million users at the time of the FriendFeed acquisition to about 1.4 billion users at present.
Users have until next month
No new sign-ups are being accepted on FriendFeed, and existing users can still use the platform for sharing posts, messages and photos until next month.
Paul Buchheit, who created the first versions of Gmail and AdSense, conceived FriendFeed. Real-time updates for social feeds were provided for the first time by the FriendFeed network. This network helped in bringing information from around the web, working as an aggregation tool to bring feeds from different social networks together. Public conversation was one part, and a publishing tool for original content was the other part At the same time, it allowed easy engagement of FriendFeed friends across networks.
The service has several shortcomings, and a major issue with it was that it didn’t have the capability to achieve mass-market penetration as highlighted by critic Michael Arrington.