At first glance FriendBinder, the UK based start up from the midlands, looks just like another ‘me too’ lifestream site.
Plug in your social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Last FM and RSS feeds and watch a live stream of all your friends information. Use the update function like a Twitter client to update your Twitter and or Facebook account. So far, so familiar.
However, play a little longer and you will find some nifty features.
Using the search function at the top of the page, I can search for any word (not just hashtag) that interests me, in this example, The Next Web.
The search facility allows me to search for all mentions of the topic (like a Twitter search) or just my friends across the networks I have connected. This is a smart option to help me find relevant content against my trusted sources.
The trending topics function is also a cool feature to help me see what my friends are talking about and also who my friends are talking about or talking to. Yet more neat functions that helps me gain more value from my social streams.
FriendBinder access is currently free and does not have its own ‘network’ like Plaxo or Friendfeed instead allowing you to connect your preferred channels and manage the information stream in one place.
The combination of wide network harnessing and innovative information searching and management functions offers the potential for Friendbinder to become more than just a ‘me too’ liftesreamer. The mobile (m.friendbinder.com) version enables the service to be in your pocket at all times.
The biggest challenge for FriendBinder will be gaining and retaining users who may be apathetic to switching. Those that spend time using FriendBinder will find a rewarding experience that adds to the value of their existing social networks.