With new Facebook Groups, FriendFeed’s gone mainstream. Two years late.

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

What’s really striking about the new Facebook Groups is that they truly are “FriendFeed gone mainstream”.

When I first saw the new Facebook Groups I thought, “My, they look a lot like FriendFeed”. That’s no surprise either, the team that pioneered realtime discussion and sharing groups at FriendFeed now works at Facebook and its co-creator Bret Taylor is now CTO there.

FriendFeed was, and still is, loved by a loyal following for its fast, powerful social sharing and discussion possibilities. Just before Facebook bought the company last year it really had become something special, a technical feat of beauty that I loved. The problem was that the mainstream public never took to it. It was just too… well, geeky. Now with the newly re-imagined Facebook Groups we see how FriendFeed can finally be accepted by the masses – by being less geeky, more streamlined… and built right into Facebook.

Like FriendFeed, Facebook Groups have the ability to share and discuss text, images, photos, videos and links in realtime. The ability to import feeds is missing, as are other “advanced” features of FriendFeed like cross-posting, exporting RSS feeds, posting via emails and the like, but by stripping those out what we have here is essentially FriendFeed’s vision gone mainstream.

People certainly seem to be taking to the new groups’ potential. Here at The Next Web we already have lively Apps and Apple groups among others, and Robert Scoble has a group for tech news reporters and bloggers that has got off to an interesting start.

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