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Facebook Buys FriendFeed; Twitter Floods with Spam

In case you missed the HUGE news today, Facebook has just acquired the very impressive social network FriendFeed. FriendFeed might not seem like a such a big deal, and maybe you’ve never even heard of it, but it packs lots of cool features and loads of innovation. It focuses on bringing together all of one’s social sites into a single “feed” that represents that user. I have my FriendFeed page pulling from Twitter, Delicious, Flickr, and my blog. You can also tie in YouTube, Google Reader, Facebook, and loads of other social sites into your feed. It really makes it easy to keep track of the entire social landscape in a simple feed. Facebook has been trying to do more and more of this with their news feed and I’m excited to see what the future holds how that they have acquired some seriously talented developers from FriendFeed.

So what was Twitter buzzing about this afternoon when the news was released? Well, you sure couldn’t tell by looking at the Trending Topics. All day Monday it seemed like Twitter was just getting pounded with spam tweets advertising Cialis, Viagra, and “Watch Free Movies”.

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You’ll notice that there are only 4 trending topics in the above screenshot although there are usually 10 trending topics. It really looked like Twitter was having some sort of meltdown. Clicking on any of the trending topics led to nearly 85% of the search results being spam. It’s really a shame that Twitter is becoming such a target for spammers and it shows how desperate the situation has become.

Most people think of spam as annoying and sometimes a little time consuming. But, I suspect Twitter sees spam as $$$$. It’s gotta be very expensive to run Twitter. Keeping the servers running, paying the employees, bandwidth costs, and the lack of any solid monetization strategies are costing twitter millions each year. If Twitter doesn’t get a handle on this spam problem, it’s going to continue to cost them massive amounts of money and headaches to keep up with the intensity of tweets. There is good news, however. Thanks to the one-sided nature of relationships on Twitter, users are essentially oblivious to all this spam. If it weren’t for Trending Topics and occasional network lag, I’d never even know it was an issue.

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