Facebook launches Feed importing – not quite yet FriendFeed

Last week, I interviewed Bret Taylor, the co-founder of FriendFeed, a new website which aggregates content you’re sharing around the web and shares it with your friends.

import facebook news feedToday, Facebook launched a feature specifically designed to make it easier to share content from around the web, called Feed Importing. Like FriendFeed, just enter your credentials for your accounts at supported partner sites and your content will appear in your Mini Feed (and your friends’ News Feeds).

According to Facebook’s Harry Wang,

The option to import stories from other sites can be found via the small “Import” link at the top of your Mini-Feed. Only a few sites—Flickr, Yelp, Picasa, and del.icio.us—are available for importing at the moment, but we’ll be adding Digg and other sites in the near future. These stories will look just like any other Mini-Feed stories, and will hopefully increase your ability to share information with the people you care about.

This will certainly make Facebook a more powerful way to share content – currently, users have to actively “Post” items to their profiles or for certain friends. FriendFeed’s Taylor said the service was already the #2 referrer for some bloggers – if Facebook expands the feature to allow users to import any feed, will the same be true of Facebook?

However, Facebook feed importing is not quite FriendFeed–yet. Unlike FriendFeed, Facebook doesn’t allow conversations to take place in the feed itself. However, with an upcoming update to the Profile page, Facebook has alluded to a new kind of in-line “publishing flow” in the Mini Feed.

One further obvious difference with FriendFeed: while you can import RSS into Facebook, you can’t syndicate your Mini Feed or News Feed via RSS.

As Facebook users syndicate more content from external sources, selecting which of those feed items for News Feed distribution could become complicated. Facebook will need to continue developering effective News Feed selection algorithms to keep the News Feed from becoming too spammy.

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3 Responses to “Facebook launches Feed importing – not quite yet FriendFeed”

  1. Jamie says:

    and friendfeed were not worried about facebook (http://www.insidefacebook.com/2008/04/09/is-friendfeed-a-better-news-feed-interview-with-friendfeed-co-founder-bret-taylor/) well they will be abit more now.

    one improvement they could do to this is group the import feature

    so flickr, picasa whould be in ‘photos/imaging’
    delicious into favorites (as well as such as live favorites and Digg :))

    future import groups suggestions
    video sharing: (well youtube, MSN Video particularly)

    Blogging: WordPress, Live Spaces, Blogger

    Why not kill off other social networking and have an Social Network group
    Live Spaces Friend Feed, Myspace, Hi5 < way its going

    I see in a few years it is probable every site will be controlled by openid technology and it have its this openid service will have own friend feed activity thing and interlink with all the rest of your online life. From this will be everything from your ISP stuff, Social Networking, Blogs and other subscriptions.

    From a developers point of view this could cause uproar like the Facebook Chat (which still not generally available) launch on applications that concentrate on chat. This will be a kick in the teeth for developers who made flickr and other type facebook applications as this can be done without applications however a facebook members point of view who got another opinion on applications or the clutter/ slowdown of profiles will welcome this!

  2. Nigel says:

    digg been added

    (suspense for more additions)

  3. Inside Facebook » Facebook Expands Feed Connect (er, Feed Importing) to More Sites says:

    [...] six weeks ago, Facebook launched Feed Importing for the first time, allowing users to connect their Facebook accounts to Flickr, [...]

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