Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, FriendFeeders! To celebrate Halloween, our UI extraordinaire Kevin Fox made an awesome logo:

A high-resolution version is also available. The toothpicks holding up the middle of the e's in the pumpkin are my favorite touch :)

Share your FriendFeed activity on Twitter

We want to make it easier for you to share your FriendFeed activity on the web services you're already using. Now you can publish your FriendFeed updates directly to Twitter.

To enable this feature, go to your Account page and find the 'Post my FriendFeed entries on Twitter' checkbox under the Feed publishing section. Checking this box will reveal more options. You can publish all your public entries, all your public comments, or both. You can also choose to publish entries from all your services or only share the entries from specific services you've selected.

After you've had a chance to try it out, let us know how well it's working for you in the FriendFeed Feedback room.

Improving the FriendFeed experience on Facebook

While most of our users enjoy FriendFeed on FriendFeed.com, we try to make it as accessible as possible with tools like our Embeddable widgets, iGoogle Gadget, and Facebook Application.

We've spent some time lately enhancing our Facebook Application to make it work better with Facebook's new interface. Notably, you can now add FriendFeed as a tab to your profile. Just click the "+" tab on your profile page (to add a new tab) and choose FriendFeed.

If you haven't already, add the FriendFeed Facebook App to share your FriendFeed activity with your Facebook friends. We're continuing to work on some additional changes, but do let us know what changes are on your wishlist in the FriendFeed Feedback room.

Discovering rooms on FriendFeed

Back in May, we blogged that the idea for Rooms “started when we wanted a better way to share feature ideas and product plans with each other here at FriendFeed, but not the rest of the world—a mini FriendFeed of our own.” Since that launch, our office has become completely dependent on our internal room.

We’ve heard lots of stories of groups of people using private rooms in really interesting ways, including screenwriters sharing script ideas and PR agencies collecting press clippings for their clients. It’s been great to see others using FriendFeed for increasing their communication and productivity as well.

But public rooms have also turned out to be really popular. And we’ve noticed that the FriendFeed community has developed lots of fun and creative ways to make the most of them—from sports enthusiasts discussing basketball, to friends posting photos, to early adopters requesting and sharing invites for private beta web services. Just yesterday, Pepsi launched a room to discuss its new visual identity with potential brand ambassadors.

As rooms usage increased, more and more people have asked for a way to find and browse public rooms. So we're happy to now offer room search:

Searching works for words in the room name or description. We even offer some personalized room recommendations based on rooms that are popular among your friends, as well as the entire FriendFeed community.

So go ahead, find an interesting room to join. With just a week left to go, maybe the US Politics room? Or, if even another week seems unbearable to you, there's always the No Politics Allowed room. (I, for one, have recently become addicted to the Movie Reviews room, which I keep open in a mini window throughout the day.) And as always, please keep your feedback coming!

All the FriendFeed extras on one page

Did you know that FriendFeed has a bookmarklet that lets you share links and clip images directly from your browser? Did you know that you can email messages and photos to FriendFeed from your phone?

We have a lot of cool extras you might not have heard about, so we created a comprehensive list of FriendFeed tools to make them more discoverable. We'll keep the page updated as we launch new stuff so you have a one-stop shop for FriendFeed goodies.

As always, let us know what you think in the FriendFeed Feedback room.

FriendFeed Room Upgrades

We've gotten a lot of suggestions from room owners on ways we can improve Rooms on FriendFeed. Today, we’re releasing two small customizations that are designed to let room owners have more control over their rooms’ appearance and content.

We now offer room admins the ability to mark-up their room's description. We support a limited set of HTML tags that should fit your needs. Most notably, you can now use bold, italics, and linking tags in your room descriptors.

Room admins can also now choose whether they want comment moderation on their semi-public rooms. This can be particularly useful if you want to embed your room on your own web site. When commenting in a moderated room, a user will see “Pending” before their unapproved comment, and will also have the option of editing or deleting the comment without needing to wait for an admin to approve or reject it. Room admins will see the approval-pending comments at the top of that room and also in the entries themselves.

We’re still working on a number of ways to improve rooms overall. As always, give us your thoughts in the FriendFeed Feedback Room.

Keeping it real with the FriendFeed Real-time API

If your application uses the FriendFeed API, you can now show FriendFeed updates to your users in real-time using the new FriendFeed Real-time API. We're providing access to the same underlying technology that's used by the real-time view on FriendFeed to all FriendFeed developers.

The API supports polling for updates as well as long-polling, in which responses will only return when updates are available. This technique should work particularly well for desktop notification applications.

For full technical details, check out our API documentation. For comments, concerns, or suggestions, let us know at http://groups.google.com/group/friendfeed-api.

FriendFeed adds support for Facebook, Joost, BackType, Twine, and Wakoopa

We just added a few new services to FriendFeed. Now you can automatically pull in your activity from:

Facebook activity includes status updates, posted items and notes. (Sadly, no notifications for when you get a sheep tossed at you. Yet.)

To see what else we support, check out our full list of 48 services. Let us know if there are others you'd like for us to add!

A Fix-it Friday

We've been very busy this past month, introducing things like our new design and real-time view. On Friday we had a "fix-it day", where we took a break from our bigger projects to focus on bug fixes and the big stack of small features we've been meaning to get to. Here are some of the things we did on Friday:

  • Updated our iPhone interface to support friend lists
  • Fixed service importing of Google Reader from international domains (e.g., google.co.uk)
  • Prevented in-progress comments from being lost when expanding clustered items
  • Added "Hide" links to our iGoogle Gadget

We also made a lot of small improvements to our Bookmarklet, Embeddable Widgets, Real-time feed and more! Thanks to everyone for the feedback you've been giving. Keep it coming in the FriendFeed Feedback Room and, if you have a specific bug, tell us about it with our bug reporting tool.

FriendFeed image widgets for WordPress, MySpace, and more!

Our recently updated widgets can now be embedded on blogs that don't allow Javascript by selecting the new "Image" format.

This was one of the most frequently requested features for our widgets as it opens up the door for WordPress and MySpace users to embed FriendFeed on their blog. Now anywhere an image can go, so can FriendFeed! The widget below will even appear in an RSS reader:

View my FriendFeed

Check out the widgets at http://friendfeed.com/embed and let us know what you think in the FriendFeed Feedback Room.

View your FriendFeed in real-time

Recently we asked some users what they liked about FriendFeed, and one said because "procrastination is only a refresh away." It sounded nice, but then we started wondering why anyone should have to refresh at all. Well now you don't:

In our new, experimental real-time view, comments and posts will appear at the top of your feed as quickly as they arrive. This is accomplished by a technique called long polling, where our server doesn't respond to your browser's request until there's something it wants to send. This is great because we can show your FriendFeed faster using far fewer requests than before.

Real-time view works on your home feed and all your friend lists and rooms, and in testing this feature, it became clear that one of the best times to use it is during live events. So we think tonight's final U.S. Presidential Debate will be a great opportunity to give it a try (I know I'll be keepin' it real in the the user-created 2008-debates room).

You can comment and like/un-like entries just like on your standard view of FriendFeed. And if what you're looking at is updating too quickly in real-time, you can even pause it (everything that's queued up will load once you resume updates).

For those who might want to always have FriendFeed running in the background, we've added a way for you to pop-out the entire real-time view to a mini window. I've always liked the conversational feel of FriendFeed, and when I view an event-specific room this way, it really does seem like I'm chatting with my friends.

We like the real-time view so much that we wanted to make it easy for you to put it wherever you want. You can embed a real-time view of a public room on your own blog or website, like this one:

We hope you'll like this new experimental view. Come on over to the FriendFeed Feedback room and let us know what you think (naturally, we're all reading that room in real-time). In the meantime, happy procrastinating (no refresh required)!

FriendFeed's first year

FriendFeed's turning one! A year ago today, Bret, Jim, Paul and Sanjeev put our site and service out there and invited some folks. Soon, more people joined—as users, coworkers and friends. The rest, as they say, is history. Although not particularly ancient history.

Still, it's hard to believe that it's already been a year. Certainly, it seems like a lot has happened. For those of you who might have missed any of it, here's a quick recap:


October 1 (in the wee hours): Bret and Jim push the site and FriendFeed is born. Sanjeev's daughter, Iris, was born just a few days earlier. Sanjeev has a hard time picking favorites.

October 1: Bret purchases office espresso machine

October 2: Bret purchases office computers

October 15: The crew moves into FriendFeed Global International World Headquarters. Bikes are purchased.

October 24: Ana joins FriendFeed and is presented with the mountain of unpaid bills that Bret had so thoughtfully set aside for her

October 30: We launch "Likes". We like it.

December 18: Friends are fed at the holiday dinner at Bret's house. Paul airs multiple grievances about the Festivus Pole.

December 22: Grievances can now be aired on FriendFeed, er http://festivusfeed.com


January 7: The first week of the new year is Kevin's first week at FriendFeed

February 8: First annual FriendFeed friends and family ski trip

February 26: We officially launch the site and announce our Series A funding

March 6: The TGIFF (thank goodness it's FriendFeed) tradition begins

March 17: FriendFeed now has search. But we still can't find our keys.

March 25: We launch an API and pass the work onto you

May 1: Tudor becomes a FriendFeeder. We swear, at FriendFeed, previous Gmail experience is not required.

May 19: Who let the non-Googler in? Ok, fine. Welcome, Casey.

May 22: 62.5% of FriendFeed is out of the office, spread across four continents. Sounds like a perfect time to launch rooms.

June 23: Casey drops a server on his foot and breaks his toe. The rest of us move across the street.

June 25: "Mandatory Fun Day!" Paul is excused because—and only because—his son Thomas is born that morning.

June 26: Gary joins FriendFeed, but missed out on indoor skydiving, deep dish pizza and baseball by one day

June 27: Finally, everyone gets job titles at FriendFeed

July 25: A whiteboard gets colored and a "PiƱata-cam" gets airborne

August 25: Dan joins FriendFeed. Yes, again.

August 29: We welcome Ben from within our developer community

September 18: FriendFeed unveils a new look. We couldn't have done it without your useful feedback.

October 1: We celebrate! Thanks to FriendFeed, we've had an amazing year. And really, that's thanks to our users.

Thanks for helping to make FriendFeed what it is today. We're looking forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you!