Among the huge number of articles posted around the web about Facebook’s purchase of FriendFeed one of the most common arguments justifying the deal is that FriendFeed’s user growth was dead. That certainly doesn’t seem to be the case if you look at figures published today by Hitwise UK.
You’ll notice that UK traffic to FriendFeed has increased sharply this year. In fact traffic has increased 180% in the past 12 months. It’s still floundering well below Twitter and Facebook. As Robin Goad of Hitwise says:
“During July (FriendFeed) ranked 334th in our Social Networking and Forums category; Facebook received 3,700 times as many UK Internet visits as Friendfeed last month, while Twitter picked up 160 times as many.”
So, FriendFeed is a long way behind its rivals but it’s been growing fast, in the UK at least. Much of that growth will have been UK geeks discovering what their US counterparts have known for a long time, FriendFeed is a powerful tool for sharing and discussing content. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon myself – UK geeks are embracing FriendFeed in droves. Hitwise’s figures for the socio-economic groups visiting the site bear that out.
FriendFeed’s problem is that it’s pretty much only geeks realising its power. Mainstream acceptance is as elusive as ever. With that knowledge, the sale to Facebook is completely understandable.