Twitter is currently down for me right now (4:04pm EST). Of course, I switched my focus to FriendFeed to see what’s going on within my networks. However, there was something that caught my eye and not in the best way. Users are now starting to send messages on FriendFeed as if they’re twittering.
What’s Not The Problem
I don’t actually have a problem with any of the FriendFeed community posting messages to FriendFeed. It’s convenient for many reasons. I’ve done it a handful of times myself and did it today in fact, since Twitter is down. I would’ve done that regardless because I do not import my Twitter stream into FriendFeed. When done properly, posting messages to FriendFeed only adds to the conversation and FriendFeed’s value. This is a community after all and also one of FriendFeed’s purposes. Sending messages of value are great additions to FriendFeed. The key word here is value.
What’s the Problem
FriendFeed wasn’t made to be used like Twitter. Sending random updates to the service is a ton of noise that I’d rather see restricted to Twitter. FriendFeed’s UI is not designed to effectively show such updates without seeming….disruptive. I find value in the fact that there’s a lot of great content on FriendFeed. I love how the conversation is restricted to the items shared on FriendFeed instead of having randomly submitted comments all over the place. The latter is what I’m seeing today due to Twitter being down and also because of the proposed Twit-Out for tomorrow (here, here, and here).
FrienFeed Isn’t Twitter
If this is part of the Twit-Out parade, then personally, I’d like to see it moved somewhere else that caters to noise levels of Twitter proportions. For me, these random messages of using FriendFeed like Twitter are devaluing the service in many ways. That’s not to say that I have a problem with all of these messages. I’ve contributed 1 message today, and I’ve responded to a few. However, those few were valuable. The rest that I’m seeing, well, they add no value for me. FriendFeed isn’t Twitter and in turn, shouldn’t be used like Twitter.