FriendFeed Launches API, Can They Take on Facebook?

FriendFeed is on a tear. Tonight they announced the release of the FriendFeed API, opening up all the features and enabling developers to also publish to, not just read from FriendFeed. Want to let people know that a FriendFeed user posted a comment on your blog? Now you can post it as an activity on FriendFeed. Over the past month I have been highly critical of FriendFeed, arguing that the value is in the filtering but ultimately, at least you can track an infinite number of online activities now.

This is a direct strike at Facebook’s Beacon service which provides your friends with notifications of your online activities outside of Facebook. Rumors have previously surfaced that Facebook will be opening their newsfeed to activities outside of Facebook but as for now, the change hasn’t taken place yet. I have been complaining about FriendFeed for a long time now but they have been rolling out new features on a weekly basis recently.

Just yesterday I asked the readers if social networks would continue to exist 5 years from now. The readers said yes, while Charlene Li suggests they won’t and for the most part I agree with Charlene. While we still need a center for conversation that center is rapidly becoming Twitter for me. Also, FriendFeed fulfills all my stalking needs so what else could I possibly need?

I have to admit, if FriendFeed added filtering, there would theoretically be no need for Facebook or MySpace. That seems like a dangerous statement given that I am probably one of the largest Facebook evangelists but FriendFeed has accomplished something incredible in an extremely short period of time. Let’s see how Facebook responds to this. Do you think this could be the downfall of social networks as they exist today? Can FriendFeed take on Facebook?