I’ll be honest. I have no idea what Kim Kardashian does. I wouldn’t even know who she is if it weren’t for jokes on Pardon The Interruption (an ESPN sports show) about some sex tape a few years back. But apparently, she joined FriendFeed the other day. And then she immediately added 35,000 users as friends.
Now, she did this thanks to FriendFeed’s new one-click Twitter login functionality. This allows you to sign up for FriendFeed using your Twitter name and transfer your information over via OAuth to FriendFeed, as well as automatically friend anyone you are following on Twitter. It’s a smart move by FriendFeed, as it ports your social graph over from a more popular service. But this simplicity and close tie into Twitter raises a couple concerns.
First, Twitter, a service with which FriendFeed is often compared, hit its watershed moment recently during the Ashton Kutcher/CNN race to a million followers. Now that it’s mainstream and celebrities are starting to see the benefits of using these types of services to promote themselves, are they already staking out other less mature services to become the “Ashton” of those services and bring them to the mainstream?
Second, FriendFeed co-founder Paul Buchheit isn’t even sure if the Kardashian account really was created by her (or her people). It’s possible that squatters are going to start staking out on popular names in the hope that the service will grow in popularity and gain some of these real celebrities. Or worse, that people are going to start signing up for the service pretending to be celebrities on there.
Either way, it’s just going to lead to a bunch of noise. And some users are already getting upset about it.
But there’s hope: Of the 35,000 people that Kardashian friended, only around 350 people subscribed to her. FriendFeed users, a much smaller base than Twitter, seem to be more savvy. When they see that Kardashian is only porting in her Twitter updates to FriendFeed, they’re probably not going to start following her back, as she adds nothing to the service, which prides itself in conversations about entries.
Everyone is already on the hunt for the “next Twitter.” Kim Kardashian (or someone pretending to be her), apparently thinks it’s going to be FriendFeed. And FriendFeed users don’t seem to care. Can one of these services go mainstream without celebrities?