There has been an absolute flood of tech news this morning. Lost somewhere in the shuffle is the private beta launch of a new startup, founded by four ex-Googlers, called FriendFeed. And while it may not get a lot of attention today, keep an eye on them. I have a feeling it will be a very popular service.
It’s a simple product that, like a ton of sleepy competitors (see Spokeo, ProfileLinker, MyLifeBrand and the more recent Fuser) is trying to help people organize user data stored across a myriad of social networks.
But unlike those competitors, FriendFeed’s simple approach may be the way to win. Instead of layering another social network on top of all of the ones you already belong to, FriendFeed is taking the year old Facebook News Feed idea, which may be the single most important feature contributing to the success of Facebook Platform, and opening it up to all social networks.
When you sign up for FriendFeed, you tell it the social networks you belong to, widely defined (Facebook, Last.fm, Flickr, Netflix, Digg, etc.). It tracks what you are doing on those networks, aggregates it all and provides you and your friends with a personalized feed of the data.
That feed can be accessed on the FriendFeed site, or embedded via a widget into another website.
FriendFeed will be a social network itself, of course. But it may also allow niche social networks, focusing on just one thing like movies or music, to thrive while simultaneously allowing users to have a single feed to aggregate all that they are up to. That means Facebook and the other giants don’t have to be everything to everyone (or at least that people don’t have to use it that way).
The company was founded by Bret Taylor and Jim Norris. No word on funding, but the four were acting as entrepreneurs in residence at Benchmark Capital while creating the company.