Suddenly, AOL Loves Lifestreaming; Buys Socialthing!

AOL is getting into the lifestreaming business. Like Friendfeed or Facebook’s News feeds, it recently launched AIM BuddyUpdates, which lets AIM users keep up with what their instant-messaging buddies are doing on social services such as Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Digg. To beef up its lifestreaming capabilities, we have been able to confirm that it has also bought Socialthing!, a FriendFeed competitor that is still in private beta.

We don’t know the price, but it was likely a small purchase. Socialthing! came out of Colorado-based incubator TechStars. Once you sign up to track friends activities on Socialthing!, it keeps automatically adding new friends for the services you choose to monitor. (See our review).

Despite all the turmoil and uncertainty about its future, AOL is trying to keep up with the times. It is embracing feeds, lifestreaming and even playing nice with other IM services such as Meebo and eBuddy. Maybe it is finally realizing that there is a bigger world out there than AOL.