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.