Facebook acquires Friendfeed - the battle to dominate real-time search hots up

Facebook has just announced a deal to acquire FriendFeed, a social networking site that allows you to follow the stream of all your friends or contacts, in the latest development in the social media world.

It seems the reaction from FriendFeed fans has been cool to say the least. It’s probably best summed up by this Hitler meme video (the latest in a long line of Hitler memes).

The deal does highlight the value that is increasingly being placed on real-time search. Facebook has seen the threat of Twitter and its latest acquisition is most certainly a move to combat Twitter’s advantage in real-time search.

TechCrunch has interviewed FriendFeed co-founder Bret Taylor and Facebook VP Products Chris Cox and it seems likely that FriendFeed will continue to operate independently for a while, but will eventually be integrated into Facebook.

Many commentators believe the move is a talent grab. FriendFeed has 12 employees, 11 of which are engineers and many are ex-Google. It is to the benefit of Facebook as it tries to up its game in real-time search to have the FriendFeed minds developing products that may work for Facebook.

Despite the recent news of the Bing/Yahoo search collaboration, perhaps the real battle in searchland is going to be fiercest at the cutting edge environment of real-time search.