While Twitter is busy removing features, or half removing them, or whatever — FriendFeed continues its relentless pace at adding new ones. The latest one today is small, but potentially very, very useful. Basically, you can now get emails/IMs/pop-up notifications from any group or individual user on FriendFeed.
While it may not be so obvious at first, this is useful because you can custom tailor FriendFeed to use even when you’re not on the site. The way I’ve been using it for several months now is to create groups for people/things I’m particularly interested in. But that would still require that I go to FriendFeed to check those groups. Now I can just get pinged over IM every time something I’m looking for comes up.
My colleague Steve Gillmor should love this, because this allows you to basically track something without being actively engaged in the service. It doesn’t yet work for saved searches on FriendFeed — which would allow you to track any keyword, but you can imagine that will come soon as well. Track is a feature that Twitter used to have to ping people when a keyword was said. It had to discontinue the service when Twitter kept crashing last year as it grew it size. It’s still supposedly coming back one day, but it would seem FriendFeed, once again, may beat them to it.
And while tracking keywords is interesting, I’m actually more interested in people track — which is what this is. And since FriendFeed of course imports Twitter messages, this basically is a track of people on Twitter too. And if you really want to get fancy, you can just track when a user likes something on FriendFeed and have it ping you, or a number of other options.
And this doesn’t have to just be over IM. You can get these notifications over email or using FriendFeed’s AIR-based popup notifier. Slick.