FriendFeed: The Search Engine for Conversations

FriendFeed may be billing itself as an aggregator of social network sites, but its real power is in the newly introduced search feature. In case you haven’t heard, FriendFeed is a new social media tool that allows you to view any and all updates to your accounts and friends’ accounts on the most popular social media sites like Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Digg.

There’s so much value here I hardly know where to start. First, everything below is based upon searching “everyone” which is available through the advanced search feature.

With FriendFeed, you can search conversations being had by the people who use social media the most. These are the most likely people to be the influencers of the internet, and the best candidates to convert into brand evangelists for your company.

For brands, this is a fantastic way to find the best candidates to convert into brand evangelists for your company. For reporters, FriendFeed could be highly useful in finding people to quote in a story. Social media users can be found, if they want to be. If they don’t, it will be a waste of your time to chase after them anyway.

You’ll be less likely to come across users with dormant accounts, because the search feature returns results by time, with the most recent first.

Yes, you can pull the RSS feeds of these searches into your newsreader of choice. I only wish they would display the headlines of blog posts or context surrounding the keyword rather than “Username posted this” or “Username favorited that” in order to skim more quickly.

Still, this is social search at its best. It requires no effort on the part of users to submit and suggest the best results for a given keyword. It takes advantage of existing, organic conversations across multiple sites, which is increasingly becoming a hot commodity.

The challenge for FriendFeed will be embracing the power of search, and with ex-Googlers at the helm, I suspect this very well may be the ultimate plan.

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