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Facebook to acquire FriendFeed, a threaded message service

August 10, 2009 |  1:01 pm

Facebook announced today that it was acquiring FriendFeed, the 12-person Mountain View, Calif., company that runs a messaging network of the same name and has stayed viable in a crowded social-media landscape.

FriendFeed is a messaging platform that allows friends to easily create long threads  -- or discussions on a particular topic.  The threads can include various kinds of media, including Web links, videos and images -- the better to facilitate a discussion without the need to jump around to disparate websites.

Facebook has more than 250 million active users worldwide.  FriendFeed, by comparison, has a limited audience, many of whom are early adopters and electronic-media types. According to Compete.com, Facebook has more than 100 times the number of unique visitors that Friendfeed had in June -- but  FriendFeed's audience also increased by 75% over the last year.

Under the deal, FriendFeed's founders will become part of Facebook's senior product and engineering team, and all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook.

The statement included the following comment from one of FriendFeed's founders:

“As we spent time with Mark [Zuckerberg] and his leadership team, we were impressed by the open, creative culture they’ve built and their desire to have us contribute to it,” said Paul Buchheit, another FriendFeed co-founder. Buchheit, the Google engineer behind Gmail and the originator of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, added, “It was immediately obvious to us how passionate Facebook’s engineers are about creating simple, ground-breaking ways for people to share, and we are extremely excited to join such a like-minded group.”

The sale price was not disclosed in the press release.

-- David Sarno

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