With the new FriendFeed beta, everyone has an opinion on whether it is better than the old version and is it better than Twitter and Facebook. Not surprisingly, Seth Godin had the perfect post regarding this. Granted, his post is about jeans and the difference between a zipper and a button-fly, but the point is the same:
How can buttons be better? They’re archaic. They take a long time. They’re difficult. Except that I like the way they look. And since I like them better, they are better.
Better, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. The FriendFeed beta is definitely something that some people will find instantly better, and others will hate it. I am not going to do a full review of the beta until I have used it for at least a week, but there are definitely some interesting points.
Is it better that the real-time view is now the only view? Did you really notice that this real-time view is not the same as the old interface’s real-time view? This real-time view is a mixture of the old interface with cleaner and faster updates.
The new interface almost requires you to use lists to manage the stream of information. Is using lists better? For me it is, but am I really the long-term target. Is the real target mainstream users or more technically inclined users? Better for one group may not be better for the other.
Lastly, who is FriendFeed trying to be better than? There is a lot of talk about them not being better than Twitter for real time information or not better than Facebook as a social network. Can we really compare these tools? They are all different and have different uses. Why do we feel the need to find what is better? And why do you think you can tell me which is better for me?