Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits FriendFeed (Now in Six New Languages)!

This morning, FriendFeed, which is a kind of content delivery version of Twitter, went international, launching in six new languages–German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and simplified Chinese.

Now live, the move is a natural extension for the Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up–which was founded earlier this year by a small gang of ex-Googlers: Bret Taylor, Paul Buchheit, Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh. The company says that one-third of users already use FriendFeed in languages other than English.

More languages are planned, said the company, which specializes in super-aggregating updates of all kinds for social-networking and news items in an ongoing feed from places like Facebook, YouTube, Digg, Twitter and Flickr.

Given all the dissipated ways people communicate on the Web, FriendFeed lets users collect all these links, some of them in rich media and some just text messages, to share publicly or privately.

I find the service very useful and compelling, so I paid a visit to its HQ last week to chat up Taylor and Buchheit.

We talked about a range of topics, including–my favorite–monetization, or lack thereof, of a lot of terrific Web 2.0 services like FriendFeed and Twitter.

The pair, in a less overt manner than Twitter’s CEO Evan Williams, did acknowledge the focus on growth over revenue, although they did seem intent on figuring out a true business plan sooner than later.

FriendFeed certainly has time to do so–it is a small and inexpensive start-up with a dozen employees, funded with only $4 million from Buchheit and Singh and $1 million from Benchmark Capital.

Here’s the video (excuse my gruff-cold-and-cough voice):


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald