Confirmed: AOL Acquires FriendFeed Competitor Socialthing

We’ve received confirmation from AOL that the company has acquired Socialthing!, a lifestreaming service that competes with FriendFeed. We originally reported the deal on August 1.

AOL says that the Socialthing! team will report to SVP of AOL and GM of People Networks David Liu, and will be incorporated into its People Networks division. Socialthing’s lifestreaming will be integrated into a number of AOL’s community properties, including its social network Bebo and AIM, its popular chat service.

The acquisition comes during a tough time for AOL, which has recently been forced to institute a number of budget cuts. Despite its setbacks, AOL is still keen on keeping its valuable social properties healthy, and likely saw Socialthing! as a relatively cheap investment (the aquistion price was not released, but it was probably fairly small).

Socialthing launched only five months ago in private beta. Unlike most social news aggregators, the site employs a smart algorithm that can figure out who you’re friends with, so you don’t have to explicitly define a friends list for each service.