Now Facebook Really Owns You

You just don’t know it yet.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Facebook just purchased the rights to nearly everything you do on the Internet. And it cost them only $47.5 million.

Facebook’s purchase of FriendFeed, an obscure social media platform, is potentially momentous. To understand why, we must understand FriendFeed, a startup that is ubiquitous among techies and unknown to everybody else. It’s a sleek application that acts as a clearinghouse for all of your social media activities. Post something to Flickr? That will show up on your FriendFeed page. Digg something? FriendFeed will know. Post to Twitter from your phone? FriendFeed will syndicate your tweets. Once you initially tell it where to look, it will collect everything and tell it to the world.

The goal is to make automatic that which is all too annoying to do manually. If I like an article enough to Digg it, why should I then have to tell all my friends via Facebook or Twitter, as well? The social media landscape has become disparate enough—so many startups controlling so many different pieces of our lives—that we need a central place that will organize all of our actions for us. That place is FriendFeed.


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