I am not saying that this happens to everyone or that everyone is ticked that Facebook bought out FriendFeed. But obviously I have been disappointed by FriendFeed being bought out by Facebook. While I have a Facebook page, and am seeing FriendFeed user’s crossing over from FF to Facebook (thanks!), it is interesting what has happened to FriendFeed traffic since the buyout. I invested a lot of my time into FriendFeed, and while the main site will most likely hang around for a bit, in the longer run it looks like I am not the only one who is not spending as much time on FriendFeed as I used to based on the numbers from Compete.com
Of course the most dramatic one is the short three month term, from here it looks like they lost about 10% of their traffic since the announcement, and while that might not seem like much, it works out to about 100,000 unique visitors lost since the announcement.
The six month Compete score brings this more into perspective. Against the three month, the drop is still noticeable, but does show a slowdown of people going to FriendFeed.
The one year Compete score shows off the final metric in the grand scheme of how they have been growing traffic over the last year.
What makes this interesting to me is that many of the early adopters really invested a lot of personal time in making the network work, building the communities, and building the connections between people. Many of the early adopters are still there like Robert Scoble and Louis Gray, but a good many of the middle tier, those that follow have reduced the amount of time that they are on the system. I know I have, and I have noticed some of my mid tier friends also cutting back. This could be to social networking fatigue, but then I also know that the month of August has been very bad for business and required that I refocus on my company and on my day job to make sure that ends met. There was not the time to devote to social networking that I previously had in the past. Unless the world had a really bad August and July, it is interesting to note that nearly 10% of FriendFeed’s audience dropped off after they got bought out.
What that means to Facebook is also worth noting, they bought a growing company, and the user backlash was probably unexpected on both companies. Social networks should look at the raw numbers and see if there is the potential for a backlash if they are looking to purchase traffic or backend support systems like FriendFeed will eventually become for Facebook. I have never been a big fan of Facebook because my boss is there, and most of the people I work with are there are as well. FriendFeed was more of a playground without my parents hanging out, now I’ll have to watch what I say and post a bit closer than I had to in the past. Especially as Facebook starts integrating FriendFeed closer or turns it into their main real time status system.
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(Cross-posted @ TechWag)