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)!