Facebook today announced an acquisition of Friendfeed – getting an innovative, growing service (still small by Facebook standards: 1m users vs. Facebook’s 250m) and, by all accounts, an exceptional team (comprised of ex-Googlers).
The twitter and blogosphere almost immediately and universally labeled the deal a talent acquisition. And while Facebook has indeed acquired a talented team (planning to disperse them through the organization), they also got two important product enhancements: real time search and filtering.
I’ve said several times that I believe the next major progression for the real-time web is the ability for users to search, filter and determine authority / relevance. This is one of Friendfeed’s strengths. And it is an area where they can instantly help Facebook – with thinking, product, data, etc. If the social web is (at least in part) predicated on conversation, the acquisition will help facilitate discussion by reducing noise and increasing relevancy. And if revenue opportunities exist within those conversations (just ask Starbucks and other active brands), search and filtering will play a role on the advertising and data side.