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Right Before Facebook Bought It, FriendFeed's Real-Time Stream Saw A Flood Of Usage

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Eraser with built-in brush for eraser bits – absolutely brilliant

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Some people still aren’t sure why Facebook would buy FriendFeed. While few would question the talent of FriendFeed’s team, many still considered it to be a product going nowhere. Think again.

The new July comScore numbers are out, and they’re impressive to say the least for FriendFeed. First of all, its last full independent month saw an all-time high in unique visitors. But the stat that really will blow you away is the average time spent on the site. FriendFeed’s choice to move to a live, constantly updating stream of data was a very good choice, it seems.

At the end of April, FriendFeed turned on the live-stream that it had been testing on its beta site, for all users. At first, a lot of users didn’t seem to like it, but many quickly realized its power. From May on, usage of FriendFeed starting going up in terms of unique visitors to the site, after a small dip the month prior. Meanwhile, the average amount of time spent on the site went from just a few minutes in April, all the way up to 6.2 minutes in June. But the most impressive jump was yet to come: July saw users spending 31.2 minutes on the site. Just look at the chart below, the jump is pretty incredible.

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Assuming FriendFeed’s internal metrics are close to comScore’s, it looks like a case of where FriendFeed sold high. And it may have been a very smart time for Facebook to buy FriendFeed as the trend was clearly that the site was gaining momentum, and more importantly, that what they had done with the live-updating stream was working. Facebook is of course also working on its own version of a similar stream, but it has so far paled in comparison to FriendFeed’s. Undoubtedly, the FriendFeed team will help change that over the next several months.

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