Custom FriendFeed themes and a way to show them off

When we launched FriendFeed themes we mentioned some improvements we wanted to make, and here they are!

Choose how people see your FriendFeed profile

Starting today, people who visit your profile will see it in the theme you've chosen. If you'd prefer visitors not to see your theme, you can turn it off on your settings page. You can also choose themes for the groups that you're an admin for (looks like the So You Think You Can Dance admin wasted no time!).

If you'd rather not see other people's profiles, you can make that selection in your settings page.

Create your own themes

Of course, we know a lot of users were looking for even more ways to express themselves, so we've added an option that lets you create a custom theme by uploading a background image and choosing a few colors. We want to add more options in the future, but hopefully, this will give you some ideas for where to get started.

As always, let us know of any problems in the feedback group and show us your stuff in the themes group.

FriendFeed accepts Facebook friend request

We are happy to announce that Facebook has acquired FriendFeed. As my mom explained to me, when two companies love each other very much, they form a structured investment vehicle...

The FriendFeed team is extremely excited to become a part of the talented Facebook team. We've always been great admirers of Facebook, and our companies share a common vision. Now we have the opportunity to bring many of the innovations we've developed at FriendFeed to Facebook's 250 million users around the world and to work alongside Facebook's passionate engineers to create even more ways for you to easily share with your friends online.

What does this mean for my FriendFeed account?

FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally. We're still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team. As usual, we will communicate openly about our plans as they develop — keep an eye on the FriendFeed News group for updates.

What about the FriendFeed API?

The FriendFeed API will also continue to operate normally. As above, we will let you know as we settle on our plan to more fully integrate with Facebook.

Check out the official press release for more information.

FriendFeed API v2: Out of beta, OAuth for installed applications

Two weeks ago, we launched version 2 of the FriendFeed API in beta. Since then, we've watched how developers have been using the API and collected a lot of their feedback. We've implemented some changes, and now, we're ready to remove the beta label!

In addition to removing the beta label, we also added support for using OAuth in applications installed on a user's desktop or device. The way it works is similar to Google's ClientLogin for Installed Applications; read all about it in our API documentation.

During the beta period, a number of developers took advantage of the new API to develop nifty applications. Some of the ones we found most interesting include:

And more are on the way! If you have feedback or thoughts on our API, let us know in the FriendFeed API group and be sure to join the developer mailing list.

Ben Darnell joins FriendFeed: Ben++!

We're very excited to have Ben Darnell joining the FriendFeed team starting today! Not only is Ben our newest employee, he's our first new employee in over a year!

I had the honor of working with Ben on the Google Reader team and I'm thrilled to have him bring his ninja-fu data-storage and scalability skills to FriendFeed.

Of course, now that we've hit 13 employees we're beginning to face the inevitable 'big company' problems. With the addition of Ben Darnell to the team already populated with the illustrious Ben Golub, we've now encountered the 'Two-Bens' conundrum.

Welcome, Ben Darnell, to the FriendFeed Family!

Improve FriendFeed for your friends by recommending subscriptions

As a devoted FriendFeed user, I have tried to convince all of my friends and family to join the site, but a handful of them never quite got their accounts set up properly. With our new Recommend friends feature, I can fix their FriendFeed experience by recommending subscriptions to them.

Visit http://friendfeed.com/friends/recommend, and you can recommend subscriptions to any of your friends. I found out my dad wasn't subscribed to a number of our family members, so I sent him ten recommendations:

Screenshot

When you send friend recommendations, your friend will get an email with all of your recommendations, including a link to subscribe to all your recommendations with a single click. (This is the best part for me — it lets me do all the work for my dad, and he just needs to click a single link to get his account in good shape).

You will also find "Recommend friends" links in the popup bubbles that appear when you hover over someone's name:

Screenshot

And you will see them on profile pages of your friends who joined the site recently:

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You can currently only recommend friends to people who are also subscribed back to you. Let us know what you think in the FriendFeed Feedback group.

FriendFeed API v2: Real-time, OAuth, file attachments, and more

Today we are launching version 2 of the FriendFeed API for beta testing. We focused on making the API simpler to use, and we added number of compelling new features:

  • Real-time APIs - utilize long polling to get feeds in real-time, including search!
  • Flexible sharing options - Direct message users. Share to multiple feeds.
  • File attachments - Attach images, pdfs, spreadsheets, etc.
  • OAuth support - Register your application now.
  • Simplified response format - Your application doesn't need to know the difference between users and groups, how "friend of friend" works, or deal with hidden entries until you want to. We provide the HTML for representing entries so you don't have to construct it. Authenticated responses include a list of possible commands on every feed, entry, and comment so you don't have to do the detective work.

Documentation is available at http://friendfeed.com/api/documentation. A Python library that implements the new API methods and OAuth support is available at http://friendfeed-api.googlecode.com/files/friendfeed-api-v2-beta1.tar.gz.

Screenshot

You can play with a sample application that uses OAuth and the new API methods at http://friendfeed-api.appspot.com/. The complete source code for the sample application is available at http://code.google.com/p/friendfeed-api-example/.

Send us your feedback in the FriendFeed API v2 group. We are looking forward to using your new apps!

Someone's in the kitchen with FriendFeed themes

Variety is the spice of life, and we know you like some spice when you 'feed, so we cooked up a few more themes to please your palette.

Four new FriendFeed Themes

Grasslands gives a breath of country air to the FriendFeed experience and, if higher altitudes are your fancy, we've got Orion (thanks for the pic, NASA!) Knot brings a little bit of elegant decoration, and be sure to grab your goggles and brandy snifter to enjoy Steampunk!