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? 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, 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:


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:


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


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 A Python library that implements the new API methods and OAuth support is available at


You can play with a sample application that uses OAuth and the new API methods at The complete source code for the sample application is available at

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!

Duck Hunt theme

By popular demand, we bring you the Duck Hunt theme, in which you shoot cartoon ducks while you peruse FriendFeed.

Make sure you have your sound on.

If you want duck carnage on your own site, check out Duck my life.

Summer offsite 2009

Last week, we had our second-annual summer offsite. Mini-golf was played.

Kevin won with only 45 strokes! (Bret came in second at just one stroke behind.) Paul came in highest with 76 (are high scores in golf bad?).

Then we moved on to Paul's house, where Parties that Cook! had staged an elaborate kitchen challenge.

Divided into two teams, we had an hour to create a meal using pork, potatoes and summer corn and peppers. Bret, Sanjeev, Kevin, Casey, Tudor and Gary created this masterpiece (with only a little help from the sous chef):

But our team (Paul, Ana, Karen, Rachel, Jeanette and Ross) ultimately won it with recipes that relied heavily on tequila:

It was another successful summer offsite for FriendFeed's friends and family!

(Ben and Megen cooked remotely :)

FriendFeed real-time search. We have it. It's here.

One of the coolest things about FriendFeed is how you can see everything that's happening on the site in real-time. Starting today, this is even more true with real-time search.

Just enter a search query as you always have, and see new results instantly stream in at the top of your screen in real-time. No need to constantly click refresh. It's an extremely useful (not to mention mesmerizing) way to immediately see what people are saying about a particular topic. You can search across just your friends or all of FriendFeed, including imported services like blogs and Twitter accounts.

So try it for yourself. See what people are talking about today. Or what they have to say about Obama. While we were testing this internally, we could barely keep up with the non-stop activity regarding Michael Jackson. (That's when we knew we needed a pause button.)

Searches using advanced search options and saved searches are also in real-time. And now you can embed a real-time search in your blog or web page, like this:

We're also working on allowing you to subscribe to saved searches, add them to your friend lists, and even get notifications based on search keywords. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, we hope this will make your searching experience feel a lot more like the rest of FriendFeed. As always, let us know your thoughts in FriendFeed Feedback.

FriendFeed now 6x more awesomer with themes

Individual expression is the heart of FriendFeed, and today we're excited to launch FriendFeed themes, with six new designs to choose from.

Six new FriendFeed themes

One of the first things you learn conducting usability studies is that a participant will always say 'I don't like the colors'. Designing for a broad user base usually means finding the best middle ground you can, while still retaining the site's core personality. Through rigorous internal testing ("Looks good? Looks good!"), we've come up with several designs that let you add a little more individuality to FriendFeed's UI, making your experience better without distracting from the task at hand.

We started off with 'Fresh', a refresh of the original classic theme, and then jumped to some more interesting designs. These six new themes (and Classic) are just the start though. We've got more themes in the pipeline and will be releasing them a few at a time.

If you'd like to discuss themes and keep up with new themes as they come out, the FriendFeed Themes group is the place.

Now we know there are going to be two big questions out there and so we'll answer them straight away:

Can I choose how my profile or group page looks to other people? At the moment, selecting a theme will change how FriendFeed looks to you, and other people looking at your profile page will see it in whatever theme they've chosen. We know how important it is to be able to customize how your profile page or group page looks to the outside world, and while that isn't part of today's release, it's on the roadmap.

Can I make my own theme? This is also on the roadmap. It would be easy to just let you upload a background picture and pick a few colors, but we want to give you the flexibility to make more nuanced themes than this would allow, while still making sure that your theme will be compatible with enhancements that we'll make to FriendFeed down the line ("Looks good? Looks good!").

For today, we're happy to give the FriendFeed UI a breath of fresh air, and we hope you enjoy your new themes! Click in 'settings' to see your current theme, and try something new.

You can now share files on FriendFeed

One of my favorite things about FriendFeed is how quick and easy it is to upload and post a photo. Now, we’ve added the capability to share files as well. You can easily attach any file, such as a PDF or a spreadsheet, to your FriendFeed post.

To share files on, simply click the "Files" link underneath the post box and select which files you want to include. You can also share files by including them as attachments on emails sent to (Learn more about posting via email.)

This has been an especially popular request from organizations and companies that collaborate using FriendFeed groups. We’ve certainly been using this feature internally and have found it extremely useful. We hope it’ll help make you and your collaborators even more productive, and a little more attached to FriendFeed.

Have questions or feedback? Please let us know in FriendFeed Feedback.

Subscribers count!

We're happy to announce that we've recently started sharing FriendFeed subscriber counts when we crawl for the latest version of your blog's feed.

So if you have 200 people subscribed to you on FriendFeed, and you've added your blog as a service on FriendFeed, now you can see those subscribers right alongside the subscriber counts from Google Reader, Bloglines, My Yahoo, and anyone else subscribed to your blog's feed.

When you add your blog as a service on FriendFeed, you're putting your words in front of a lot more people. But how many? Well, for me, it's:

Keep in mind though, that even though this is the number of people who are subscribed to you, the number of people who actually see your posts within FriendFeed can be substantially higher, because whenever one of your subscribers 'likes' or comments on one of your items, that item gets shared with their friends as well!

Popular iPhone apps for FriendFeed

Some third party software developers have made good use of the FriendFeed API to create some great FriendFeed iPhone applications. Stay connected to FriendFeed even when you're away from your computer with one of these iPhone apps (at our office, BuddyFeed and Amigo have been really popular):

Interested in building a new application or connecting your existing one to FriendFeed? Learn more about the FriendFeed API.

Welcome back, Ross!

We are so excited to have our intern Ross back with us! Ross is behind some of FriendFeed's best moments captured on film: helpful tutorials, "The FriendFeed Whiteboard", and of course, the infamous piñata cam.

Ross will be spending the summer developing more videos, helping our users in the feedback rooms, and working to grow the FriendFeed community. His first task... organize the FriendFeed summer offsite!

We couldn't be more excited to have Ross here. I proclaim this: The Summer of Ross!

FriendFeed now available in فارسی

FriendFeed is now available in Persian (فارسی)! You can change your FriendFeed language preference in your account settings.

Thanks again to all of our Persian users — it has been extremely exciting for us to see FriendFeed so widely used around the world.

This is the first right-to-left language we support, so expect that there will be some bugs. You can report problems and discuss FriendFeed with other Persian users in the FriendFeed Feedback (فارسی) room.

A whole new FriendFeed

You might have noticed that FriendFeed looks pretty different today. We've just launched a whole new design, and a host of features and improvements that comes along with it.

We unveiled this look three weeks ago in beta and have been busy gathering feedback and making improvements. Here are some of the things you'll now find in FriendFeed:


Forget the refresh button. All pages now update in real-time. You'll see your friends' photos and messages stream in as they're shared. Comments and likes also get displayed as they happen.

More powerful share box

You can now choose whom to share items with. Post something to multiple feeds or to just a few friends. You can also now direct message anyone who's subscribed to you.

Saved searches

Use FriendFeed's advanced search options to create filters for easy access to the friends and topics you care most about. Choose from filtering options such as seeing only entries that have certain keywords or entries with a certain number of likes or comments.

FriendFeed by Email

And of course, we had to add something new to the beta... and so we're introducing FriendFeed by email!

Post new items to your FriendFeed by emailing You can post to groups by emailing, and you can direct message your friends by emailing

You can also choose to get your FriendFeed posts and comments delivered directly to your email inbox (see your email preferences), and even comment on entries simply by replying to messages.

While we've been testing this new feature, we've used FriendFeed groups to completely replace all our internal mailing lists. And we've loved it! It's been easier to share screenshots and links, and we've loved being able to post and respond to all entries from the comfort of our email inboxes. Try it for yourself instead of a mailing list.

And there's more...

As you spend time on the new FriendFeed, you'll notice other new things, such as:

You might also want to check out our updated FAQ for things that have changed, such as groups. If you find a bug, let us know. And of course, we're still working on new features and improvements to this interface. As always, let us know your thoughts and comments in FriendFeed Feedback.

FriendFeed in Italiano and Türkçe

We've had a lot of requests for additional FriendFeed languages ever since we launched six new languages back in December. And today, we're really happy to add two more to that list — Italian and Turkish!


You can now select from Italian or Turkish, in addition to English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, and simplified Chinese, from the dropdown at the bottom of every page or from your Account settings page.

We've already set up user-supported help areas for Italian and Turkish. These are on the existing site, but both languages should also work in our new beta site (launched last week).

And of course, we're still working on more languages. Thanks to all our global supporters for your patience in the meantime. We hope you enjoy these new interfaces!

A new design for FriendFeed at

We’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how to improve FriendFeed. And we’ve been tinkering with those ideas at

Today, we’re opening up that site for you to try it for yourself.

It’s a pretty significant change for us, and we wanted to tell you a little about what’s new, and also, give you some insight into our thinking behind what’s changed.

We didn’t start out with the goal of a radical redesign. Our goal was simple. Make it more intuitive, more consistent, and ideally, more elegant. Here are some things that you'll find in the new site:

  • A consistent look for entries, no matter where they originated from, to help you focus on what your friends are sharing
  • A new and improved share box that can now post entries to multiple feeds
  • The ability to send and receive direct messages
  • Filters so you don’t miss a post from a certain friend or an entry about a specific topic
  • Keyboard shortcuts for the most common commands
  • And, one of the most defining features of our redesign — and what we believe will underlie everything about FriendFeed from now on: real-time. There’s no longer a need for refreshing — every view in FriendFeed now updates in real-time.

You can read a hundred reviews and look at a thousand screenshots, but for some things, only video will cut it. So here goes:

Once you see how cool the real-time updating is, see it on your own feed at (You might also want to check out our tour or read our beta FAQ.) And of course, we’re still adding new features and ironing out bugs, so please let us know your thoughts and comments in the FriendFeed Beta feed and report your bugs here.

We want to get feedback from all of you before we flip the switch to make this redesign the primary FriendFeed interface. Our goal is to simplify the FriendFeed experience and put greater focus on the things that our users have found to be most valuable. We hope you’ll like it.

New options for the FriendFeed notifier

We've been listening to your feedback about the FriendFeed notifier, and we've added some new options. Now you can get a notification whenever someone comments on one of your posts. There's also an option to only receive notifications for comments from your friends.

These are the same options available for our IM notifications, another great way to stay up-to-date on all the activity in your FriendFeed.

If you haven't already tried it, give the notifier a spin at: and let us know what you think in the FriendFeed feedback room..

Choose the Red Pill

Back in the late '90s, I was impatient for Star Wars Episode I to finally be released, but a few months before its release my friends and I distracted ourselves by seeing a new flick called 'The Matrix'. Sitting in the front row of the theater, we had no idea what we were in for as we ratcheted our heads from left to right, reading the green phosphor text pouring across Neo's VDT. Who would have thought back then that a film released just under the nose of the most anticipated movie of all time would have such an impact?

Today, a decade later, Neo, Trinity and Morpheus still stand as a seminal work of mind-body philosophy and kick-ass cinematography. To all our FriendFeed friends who spend time jacked in to our own matrix, we salute you.

Agent Fox

Norouzet Pirouz! Happy Nowruz!

FriendFeed has always been about user-generated content. Now we have our first user-generated logo!

Shayan, a FriendFeed fan, alerted us to this logo in celebration of Nowruz, the first day of the Iranian Solar Year, and we just couldn't pass up the festive opportunity.

We always appreciate suggestions and ideas, feature or logo-wise. Share yours in the FriendFeed Feedback room or email us at

And of course, may your New Years be healthy and happy and good.

Get real-time FriendFeed notifications on your desktop

If you like being in the know whenever there are updates to your FriendFeed, you'll probably enjoy our new desktop notifier. It's a super-fast download and takes just two clicks to install.

You can choose to get updates from your Home feed or any of your Friends lists. Clicking on the little window takes you to FriendFeed for easy viewing and commenting. And I love being able to drag the window to anywhere on my desktop.

The FriendFeed Notifier is an Adobe® AIR™ application that watches the FriendFeed real-time update feeds. As always, let us know your thoughts in the FriendFeed feedback room.

We think this new FriendFeed Notifier is pretty awesome. You should try it out: Consider yourself notified.

A technical overview of FriendFeed

For those of you who are programmers/techies, I just posted an overview of FriendFeed's new data storage architecture on my personal blog. Even if it doesn't make much sense to you, we hope you will still appreciate the faster page load times :)

Love is all you need

Roses are red
Violets are blue
'Though liking is nice
Sometimes it won't do

Our "likes" have been popular
and sincerely it flatters
But on this day we focus
On what really matters

So click up some love
to show that you care
The hearts look quite happy
Happiness you can share

Our second annual FriendFeed ski trip

Last week, a bunch of us headed to Lake Tahoe for the second company ski trip in FriendFeed history.

There was much cooking, drinking, and poker.

Also, a few people skied for a short period of time. Between meals. - Now available at https://

I travel a lot, but never want to be too far from FriendFeed. So, for those of you who want a little extra security and privacy, especially while abroad, now there's

That extra "s" is for "security" (and "savings"! is free ;)

Find more with FriendFeed Search

We've made some improvements to our search functionality. Searching is now faster and more reliable, and we added a number of useful advanced search features. You can:

  • Search for words only in entry titles or in comments
    [intitle:superbowl] - entries that mention "Superbowl" in the title
  • Search for only entries that were liked or commented on by specific friends
    [like:bret football] - entries about football that Bret has liked
  • Search for entries with a minimum number of likes or comments
    [comments:5 friendfeed] - entries that mention FriendFeed with at least 5 comments
  • Exclude terms from your search
    [jobs -steve] - entries about the job market, not the CEO of Apple

Visit our advanced search page to see the full list of available search features.


Have a question about FriendFeed? Ask about it in the FriendFeed Feedback room (Tip: Search the Feedback room to see if your question's been asked before).

Find and subscribe to your Twitter friends on FriendFeed

We've just added a friend importer for Twitter so you can easily find and subscribe to your Twitter friends who are already on FriendFeed.


You may already have won! Your Twitter friends could already be using FriendFeed! Find them today!

We're looking forward to extending this capability to more services. As always please let us know your bugs and feedback!

Fix-it Day Highlights

We had another fix-it Friday last week. We squashed some bugs and made a number of improvements, including these common requests:

  • Custom RSS/Atom entries now say "(via <blog name>)" instead of "(via Custom RSS/Atom)"
  • Usernames are no longer case-sensitive for signing-in or visiting user pages (e.g.
  • When editing a blog or custom RSS/Atom link, we display the original link you entered when you imported the feed
  • There's a scroll-bar for pages with long lists of rooms

Of course, we're constantly making little changes — some more interesting than others. You can see a more complete list on our changelog. Otherwise, let us know your bugs and feedback for our next fix-it day!