Why FaceBook really bought FriendFeed

So, FaceBook has acquired FriendFeed. This immediately got people speculating as to why FaceBook, with all those hundreds of millions of happy users, would want to buy FriendFeed.  In short – FaceBook didn’t want to buy FriendFeed!

FaceBook bought talent – Not a platform

FaceBook is huge and has no need to buy in the relatively tiny number of users that FriendFeed has.  So, this was not an acquisition of eyeballs.

The FriendFeed software is (as any geek will tell you) awesome; but that’s the problem. Geeks like us LOVE it, but it’s not usable enough for mainstream use.  Although far superior to Twitter technically, FriendFeed lacks the instant usability that sites like Twitter offer.

So, I don’t believe FaceBook bought FriendFeed for the platform either.

FriendFeed does have one extremely valuable asset though – Talent!

In buying FriendFeed, FaceBook has just acquired the services of four extremely smart people; Bret Taylor, Sanjeev Singh, Jim Norris and Paul Buchheit.  Before founding FriendFeed, these guys worked at Google and helped develop services like, Gmail, Google Maps and Google Groups.

Their market value is huge and that’s what I believe FaceBook is paying for.

In a press release accompanying the acquisition, FaceBook confirms the value it places on FriendFeed’s co-founders – saying they will; “hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.”  The remaining 12 FriendFeed staff members will also be joining FaceBook, as part of the deal.  At the time of writing this, there’s been no mention as to what FaceBook has paid for Friendfeed.

What do you think about the FriendFeed acquisition?  Let us know!

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