I’m sitting on a hill with a beautiful view over the sea. While on vacation, I am reading an excellent post by Robert Scoble in which he provides his views on why Friendfeed doesn’t seem to be growing as fast as Twitter or Facebook.
I have deep respect for the Friendfeed team but I tend to agree largely with Robert’s analysis.
From sunny Greece here are 5 reasons why Friendfeed lacks consumer appeal when compared to Twitter::
1. Twitter messages are volatile. They are written down and lost in the stream. Friendfeed items keep coming back as users interact over them. The problem with this is that despite its capabilities, ff is (used as) a publishing platform. It should flow, but it doesn’t.
2. FF converstations are dominated by a few. The quality of the discussions is often very low. People talk more than listen (basis for a good discussion). The information density is low compared to for example the original post that sparked the discussion. And it keeps appearing as people continue the “discussion”.
3. FF discussions force you to look smart. You can’t just publish as there is always the danger that someone actually reacts. On Twitter you can remain relatively anonymous, as your tweets are lost in the stream.
4. the average joe will not share and interact over content like geeks do. Sorry, picture your best friend, brother, father, child, or neighbour trying to get into FF. No way. Tweeting on the other hand is east to grasp. No obligations, just 140 characters into the open.
5. Sharing on FF lacks intention. Everything is automated for us. As a result, the quality of shared content is constantly fluctuating. If I have to type my message, even in 140 chars, there is more intention.
I can think of a few more reasons, but blogging on an iPhone is an experience in itself.
FF has a great team and great technology. But its original intention might be blown to pieces by overly active first users. It isn’t likely to get better over time unless the FF team is able to create a much better First Use experience than the current one.