Facebook Targets FriendFeed; Opening Up The News Feed

Facebook is planning on allowing users to add activities from third party social networking site directly into their Facebook news feed, we’ve confirmed. The goal is to centralize all that activity in one place.

Third parties can already integrate directly today via the Facebook API, Beacon and the Facebook Platform, but adoption from these companies, which are indirectly also competing with Facebook, has been slow. Now, users can add the content stream directly. Users simply tell Facebook what third party services they use the most, along with their credentials or public feed for the site. The content stream is then pulled into your Facebook News Feed.

What this means: in your friends news feed, you may start to see more content from Flickr, Twitter, Digg and other third party services. This competes directly with what a number of startups are doing – namely FriendFeed, Plaxo Pulse and the more recently launched Iminta.

This is certainly an opening up of Facebook. And given that so many tens of millions of users spend so much time on the site already, it could remove the wind from the FriendFeed/Plaxo sails.

But don’t expect to see a RSS feed or widgets showing what you or your friends are up to any time soon. The data feeds that Facebook opened up last year do not extend to the News Feed. And from what we hear, Facebook hasn’t made a decision to open it up yet. Until they do, there is still plenty of breathing room for competitors.