Hutch Carpenter wrote a very intriguing post over at I'm Not actually A Geek which details why he thinks the FriendFeed service will go mainstream but may take ten years to do so.
He defines mainstream usage as 33% of internet users and estimates the timescales involved by looking at the adoption of other technologies and services such as the Internet itself, Google and RSS feeds but what stood out for me in this post was his assertion that, come the revolution, FriendFeed will look rather different to how it does at present as more 'non-tech' folks join the service.
In his post "Friendfeed stats show its just Twitter with bookmarks" Alexander Van Elsas advises us that FriendFeed traffic is more than half made up of Twitter messages and that direct postings to the service account for less that 1% of all traffic. Hutch surmises that over time the amount of direct postings (which includes sharing a link directly on the site rather than via somewhere like Google Reader) will rise incredibly as more people latch on to FriendFeed as a worthwhile service but I would personally expect things to further than he has outlined them.
Go to your audience
With the Blogging 2.0 discussion saying that bloggers should go where their audience is I feel it is only a matter of time before this is taken literally. During the debate about linking and attribution I remarked “A FriendFeed blog anyone?” and with a few changes I could see it happening.
All it would take is for FriendFeed to add formatting options to the current comment box and it suddenly becomes a viable mini-blog platform. If they also extended the API so that remote blogging applications could submit proper posts (including images, links etc.) then we could see a shift towards really taking your blog where the audience is. Forget about the worry of having your posts scraped by third party services, what about having your actual content directly in peoples streams?
Please sir, can I have some more?
Despite having been around for a couple of years Twitter is still a relative novelty and once people demand more they will move to services where the potential is greater and the conversation is more engaging.
As I said before, FriendFeed is no longer just an aggregation service - it is now a community and enhancing its capabilities further would put it in a great position to capture the imagination. Current users are already pushing the boundaries; we have gone way beyond just 'comments' and moved on to full blown discussions and I feel it won't be long before we are clamouring for extra ways to get our message across - an 'inline' blog seems a natural extension.
Would you use a blog hosted directly within an aggregation service like FriendFeed? Can you see the utility is a feature like this or would it bloat the system? How far will content creators go to be close to the audience?
Image by TW Collins.