Thursday, October 16, 2008

We're Live...

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseFriendFeed the lifestreaming site that I use actively has just received a new feature which enables users on the site to see updates in real-time. Instead of refreshing the page constantly, now you can pop-out a page for any area of the site that you want to follow and keep up with the discussion and feeds imported.

I have bookmarked the Real-time Home feed view and have it loaded into the sidebar so that when tabbed browsing it's still visible. An update on the FriendFeed blog details the following~

This is accomplished by a technique called long polling, where our server doesn't respond to your browser's request until there's something it wants to send. This is great because we can show your FriendFeed faster using far fewer requests than before.
This is really great for live chat, blogging and for example with the Presidential Debates and is referred to as "Noise on Steroids" by Robert Scoble who is an active user on the site. By adding the "/realtime" directory to any page you will get the live feed produced and also noted is that you can embed a real-time view of a public room on your own blog or website which is great.

With this experimental view there is obviously going to be improvement needed to tweak performance and Louis Gray provides a great comparison with Twitter ;

For example, if I search for "debate" on FriendFeed: I get results from friends. And they sit there unless I refresh again. But on Twitter, not only do I get live results from the entire planet, but I get an update saying how many hundreds more results have debuted since I first entered my query. See:


Bret Taylor posted a couple of messages on FriendFeed detailing some of the changes that they have pushed through. It looks like this is going to be tweaked quite heavily until they are satisfied with the end result which is great. Here are the updates...

“Likes now included in real-time view (only the likes from people you are subscribed to directly). Refresh to see them.”

“We just pushed a change that should make it easier to comment in a fast-moving real-time feed. The updates will temporarily stop flowing in when your mouse is moving towards a comment link...”

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