Facebook Inc. has announced that it will close social network Friendfeed April 9th.
Acquired by Facebook in 2009 for a rumored $50 million, the site offered a news feed style layout that allowed users to share links and content in real time. It never acquired a huge user base, but it was highly influential in certain circles, particularly in the tech space.
Although not well known in the mainstream, the core of the Friendfeed code is used by over a billion people worldwide; it was merged into Facebook to deliver the Facebook feed used today.
The reason for the shutdown probably isn’t surprising: after development stopped after Facebook’s acquisition users started leaving the service, and today very few remain.
“We’ve been maintaining the service since we joined Facebook five years ago, but the number of people using FriendFeed has been steadily declining and the community is now just a fraction of what it once was” a statement on the Friendfeed blog reads. “Given this, we’ve decided that it’s time to start winding things down.”
Users will be able to access the site prior to closure, but Friendfeed is no longer accepting new signups.
There was much discussion here at SiliconANGLE when Friendfeed was acquired, indeed you could say that everyone writing here at the time used it. At its peak it was a great service, and something so much better than Facebook is today; think Facebook combined with real-time sharing, and more importantly where as Facebook is a walled garden, Friendfeed was open to anyone, and as a consequence the social aspects extended into meeting new people, and new ideas.
Sadly its demise reflected Facebook’s acquisition, and few in 2015 will mourn its passing, but those who were once users may raise a glass and toast times past but not forgotten.
Rest in peace Friendfeed.