FriendFeed, a service that aggregates social network information, just launched quite a nice little search feature. Users can search by individual, friends, or all users, and specify the search only to specific services like Twitter or Delicious. A basic search box is on every page. Advanced search is here.
FriendFeed is clearly more than a simple service to aggregate lots of data from other websites and then access it via RSS. Users can comment directly on posted items (and do so frequently). Now they can search, too. More and more FriendFeed is looking like a destination site built on the back of all that third party data.
That’s smart of them, and it’s something we’ve seen in the past. The most recent example is Meebo, which began as a way for users to access instant messaging services like Yahoo, AIM, GTalk and MSN on the web. But eventually they started allowing users to create their own accounts, and then launched their own proprietary chat service as well. Meebo has always said that isn’t a big part of their overall strategy, but I notice that most of my chats on Meebo are now done via their service, not one of the big IM players.
The company has had a huge surge in users the last week or so (and remember, the service only officially launched on February 25). They won’t disclose exact user numbers, but they say that the FriendFeed user base grew 10% over the weekend and 25% in the last week. They’re clearly having their Twitter Moment, and have avoided, so far, all the uptime issues that plagued Twitter for two years. Whether you think it’s beautiful or ridiculous, FriendFeed is on the rise.
And back to those Twitter comparisons for just a moment – FriendFeed now has a robust search feature just weeks after launch. Twitter still hasn’t launched meaningful search, even after promising it months ago. Twitter needs to be careful – failure to execute has brought many popular startups to their knees. It’s time for Twitter to step it up.
FriendFeed is based in Silicon Valley and has raised $5 million in venture capital.