Facebook is now acquiring FriendFeed. Now you're really not going to want to overlook it.(Old news)

If your business didn't have enough reasons to set up a FriendFeed account before, it has a very good one now. Last week, FriendFeed launched its real-time search feature. Results for this roll in when something that fits the query is posted somewhere. Think Twitter Search, only covering a bunch of services.

If you're unfamiliar with FriendFeed, it allows users to add their updates from pretty much any service on the web into one stream. For instance, I could include my How to make money articles, my Make money online articles, my tweets, my Facebook status updates, my Digg activity, my YouTube uploads, my Flickr uploads, etc. all in one stream where people can go or subscribe to if they want to stay up to date on all things GuruMonetizer or Ervin H.

Clearly, there is plenty of potential for such a tool from the business perspective. Look at all of the services you can add to the stream:

Services on Friendfeed

There are a number of real time search engines out there right now. They seem to be coming out of the woodwork in fact. Most of them cover more than just Twitter too. Twitter kind of kicked off the whole real-time search party, and tweets are definitely a big part of the picture, but there is activity going on everywhere on the web. The whole web is pretty much social now. Everyone can publish anything they want, and they have tons of sites to use to do so.

FriendFeed is about consolidating all of this. That's what draws users to it. FriendFeed is more than a search engine obviously. It is a community. In fact, it's more than a community. It's a community for communities. Even as it draws from sources all over the web (as specified by the users), the conversation continues right within FriendFeed's own interface.

People are going to FriendFeed just as if they would Facebook. That is where FriendFeed's new real-time search stands out from other real time search engines. People are still using Google for search. If they want to find out what's happening "right now" they probably go to Twitter.

A more accurate picture of what is going on "right now" however, can probably be found at FriendFeed. Out of the real time search engines out there, FriendFeed is the one that already has an established (and growing) community behind it. People are using it. Now that its real-time search functionality is here, expect people to use that plenty.

FriendFeed Real Time Search (pause)

FriendFeed has climbed significantly over the last year in terms of unique visitors. There is a good chance it will continue to grow as the web continues its trend of becoming more social and people look to consolidate their social media streams.

So the more FriendFeed grows, the more people will realize that they can search in real-time throughout content across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and all of the others shown in the image above. The only problem with this is that the results will only come from what is being shared via FriendFeed.

That's where you come in.

If you do not have a FriendFeed account and have all of your relevant accounts and postings going into your stream, you will be missing out on appearing in users' real-time searches.

This may become less of an issue when Google finally begins offering up real-time search. People are going to be using Google when they want to search for something for the foreseeable future. Once they add real-time search into the fold, I would imagine it will be the first place many turn for that as well.

We know it's coming, but we don't know when. Co-founder Larry Page has publicly acknowledged that it's something the company has to do. Actually, Marissa Mayer, VP of search product and user experience was just talking about the importance of real-time search again.

But for the time being, FriendFeed may be at an advantage in the real-time search space as far as looking at real-time info from across the whole web, and not just what people are saying on Twitter. At the very least, it should make for an important tool in the real-time search toolbox, which as a whole, is very important for online reputation management.

Following are a few other articles worth reading for getting a better understanding of some benefits you can get from using FriendFeed, beyond just the real-time search aspect:

- Why You Should Use FriendFeed

- 10 Ways to Get more Out of FriendFeed

- How to Use FriendFeed as a Collaborative Business Tool

- How Bloggers Can Use FriendFeed Effectively


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