Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Feeding Habits

Facebook announced on their blog earlier today that they were to be adding the ability to comment on items in your Mini-Feed. This is now available and I have been testing replies with Louis Gray on his Mini-Feed. Those actively using FriendFeed will be familiar with this feature as the site has always allowed comments on our shared items.

It's a welcomed addition to Facebook and expected as since they opened up the Mini-Feed to allow Imports these site feeds have remained largely static. Allowing the comments works well, I posted on a story and Louis received an email telling him that I had commented on his item. When he responded I received a notification on Facebook informing me in much the same way as someone commenting on a photo or video of mine!

FriendFeed has been hugely popular and Facebook has obviously taken notice and seen that lifestreaming is the way forward. So should FriendFeed be threatened by Facebook's advances? I don't think so, not yet anyway as where FriendFeed is engaging I still don't see where I would feel the need to check my friends Mini-Feed other than if I were on their profile to post on their Wall.

For this to take off they would need a central area for all of our friends activities to display. Another area for improvement is with the ordering of items commented on in the Mini-Feed. In commenting on an item it should naturally push it to the top, unlike FriendFeed; Facebook only has 10 stories displayed so if you are highly active you only have a short time frame of exposure for your story. Then it goes back to your friends actually seeing the shared item as there is no way for them to be notified that you have an active story in your Mini-Feed.

The Facebook homepage is an area that could be used to display more friends stories but currently this has no way to add comments to my friends items. I still have to go to their profile to comment which isn't ideal as it defeats the purpose. I know this may come across as negative but that isn't what I am trying to get across as I am impressed with this development.

The points that I make are just my initial impressions, Facebook is moving in the right direction by adding this ability to comment. FriendFeed is way out in front as the site aggregates from a lot more services and enables us to interact in many different ways and with people who aren't neccessarily people we subscribe to. With Facebook I feel that it won't be our imported stories that receive the comments from the majority of users it will be the Status Updates! This appears to be an area that the Facebook developers are working on though so it will be interesting to see how the interaction changes over the coming months!