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August 13 2009

22:41

When we launched FriendFeed themes we mentioned some improvements we wanted to make, and here they are!

Choose how people see your FriendFeed profile

Starting today, people who visit your profile will see it in the theme you've chosen. If you'd prefer visitors not to see your theme, you can turn it off on your settings page. You can also choose themes for the groups that you're an admin for (looks like the So You Think You Can Dance admin wasted no time!).

If you'd rather not see other people's profiles, you can make that selection in your settings page.

Create your own themes

Of course, we know a lot of users were looking for even more ways to express themselves, so we've added an option that lets you create a custom theme by uploading a background image and choosing a few colors. We want to add more options in the future, but hopefully, this will give you some ideas for where to get started.

As always, let us know of any problems in the feedback group and show us your stuff in the themes group.

August 10 2009

19:22

We are happy to announce that Facebook has acquired FriendFeed. As my mom explained to me, when two companies love each other very much, they form a structured investment vehicle...

The FriendFeed team is extremely excited to become a part of the talented Facebook team. We've always been great admirers of Facebook, and our companies share a common vision. Now we have the opportunity to bring many of the innovations we've developed at FriendFeed to Facebook's 250 million users around the world and to work alongside Facebook's passionate engineers to create even more ways for you to easily share with your friends online.

What does this mean for my FriendFeed account?

FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally. We're still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team. As usual, we will communicate openly about our plans as they develop — keep an eye on the FriendFeed News group for updates.

What about the FriendFeed API?

The FriendFeed API will also continue to operate normally. As above, we will let you know as we settle on our plan to more fully integrate with Facebook.

Check out the official press release for more information.

August 05 2009

16:51

Two weeks ago, we launched version 2 of the FriendFeed API in beta. Since then, we've watched how developers have been using the API and collected a lot of their feedback. We've implemented some changes, and now, we're ready to remove the beta label!

In addition to removing the beta label, we also added support for using OAuth in applications installed on a user's desktop or device. The way it works is similar to Google's ClientLogin for Installed Applications; read all about it in our API documentation.

During the beta period, a number of developers took advantage of the new API to develop nifty applications. Some of the ones we found most interesting include:

And more are on the way! If you have feedback or thoughts on our API, let us know in the FriendFeed API group and be sure to join the developer mailing list.

July 27 2009

21:56

We're very excited to have Ben Darnell joining the FriendFeed team starting today! Not only is Ben our newest employee, he's our first new employee in over a year!

I had the honor of working with Ben on the Google Reader team and I'm thrilled to have him bring his ninja-fu data-storage and scalability skills to FriendFeed.

Of course, now that we've hit 13 employees we're beginning to face the inevitable 'big company' problems. With the addition of Ben Darnell to the team already populated with the illustrious Ben Golub, we've now encountered the 'Two-Bens' conundrum.

Welcome, Ben Darnell, to the FriendFeed Family!

July 24 2009

19:36

As a devoted FriendFeed user, I have tried to convince all of my friends and family to join the site, but a handful of them never quite got their accounts set up properly. With our new Recommend friends feature, I can fix their FriendFeed experience by recommending subscriptions to them.

Visit http://friendfeed.com/friends/recommend, and you can recommend subscriptions to any of your friends. I found out my dad wasn't subscribed to a number of our family members, so I sent him ten recommendations:

When you send friend recommendations, your friend will get an email with all of your recommendations, including a link to subscribe to all your recommendations with a single click. (This is the best part for me — it lets me do all the work for my dad, and he just needs to click a single link to get his account in good shape).

You will also find "Recommend friends" links in the popup bubbles that appear when you hover over someone's name:

And you will see them on profile pages of your friends who joined the site recently:

You can currently only recommend friends to people who are also subscribed back to you. Let us know what you think in the FriendFeed Feedback group.

July 20 2009

17:49

Today we are launching version 2 of the FriendFeed API for beta testing. We focused on making the API simpler to use, and we added number of compelling new features:

  • Real-time APIs - utilize long polling to get feeds in real-time, including search!
  • Flexible sharing options - Direct message users. Share to multiple feeds.
  • File attachments - Attach images, pdfs, spreadsheets, etc.
  • OAuth support - Register your application now.
  • Simplified response format - Your application doesn't need to know the difference between users and groups, how "friend of friend" works, or deal with hidden entries until you want to. We provide the HTML for representing entries so you don't have to construct it. Authenticated responses include a list of possible commands on every feed, entry, and comment so you don't have to do the detective work.

Documentation is available at http://friendfeed.com/api/documentation. A Python library that implements the new API methods and OAuth support is available at http://friendfeed-api.googlecode.com/files/friendfeed-api-v2-beta1.tar.gz.

You can play with a sample application that uses OAuth and the new API methods at http://friendfeed-api.appspot.com/. The complete source code for the sample application is available at http://code.google.com/p/friendfeed-api-example/.

Send us your feedback in the FriendFeed API v2 group. We are looking forward to using your new apps!

July 16 2009

18:50

Variety is the spice of life, and we know you like some spice when you 'feed, so we cooked up a few more themes to please your palette.

Grasslands gives a breath of country air to the FriendFeed experience and, if higher altitudes are your fancy, we've got Orion (thanks for the pic, NASA!) Knot brings a little bit of elegant decoration, and be sure to grab your goggles and brandy snifter to enjoy Steampunk!

July 14 2009

19:27

By popular demand, we bring you the Duck Hunt theme, in which you shoot cartoon ducks while you peruse FriendFeed.

Make sure you have your sound on.

If you want duck carnage on your own site, check out Duck my life.

01:05

Last week, we had our second-annual summer offsite. Mini-golf was played.

Kevin won with only 45 strokes! (Bret came in second at just one stroke behind.) Paul came in highest with 76 (are high scores in golf bad?).

Then we moved on to Paul's house, where Parties that Cook! had staged an elaborate kitchen challenge.

Divided into two teams, we had an hour to create a meal using pork, potatoes and summer corn and peppers. Bret, Sanjeev, Kevin, Casey, Tudor and Gary created this masterpiece (with only a little help from the sous chef):

But our team (Paul, Ana, Karen, Rachel, Jeanette and Ross) ultimately won it with recipes that relied heavily on tequila:

It was another successful summer offsite for FriendFeed's friends and family!

(Ben and Megen cooked remotely :)

July 02 2009

19:14

One of the coolest things about FriendFeed is how you can see everything that's happening on the site in real-time. Starting today, this is even more true with real-time search.

Just enter a search query as you always have, and see new results instantly stream in at the top of your screen in real-time. No need to constantly click refresh. It's an extremely useful (not to mention mesmerizing) way to immediately see what people are saying about a particular topic. You can search across just your friends or all of FriendFeed, including imported services like blogs and Twitter accounts.

So try it for yourself. See what people are talking about today. Or what they have to say about Obama. While we were testing this internally, we could barely keep up with the non-stop activity regarding Michael Jackson. (That's when we knew we needed a pause button.)

Searches using advanced search options and saved searches are also in real-time. And now you can embed a real-time search in your blog or web page, like this:

Search for today

We're also working on allowing you to subscribe to saved searches, add them to your friend lists, and even get notifications based on search keywords. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, we hope this will make your searching experience feel a lot more like the rest of FriendFeed. As always, let us know your thoughts in FriendFeed Feedback.

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