Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Facebook Acquires Q&A Site Friend.ly Despite Falling Usage

Facebook has acquired Friend.ly, a Formspring-like Q&A site built on top of Facebook that helps users learn more about their friends and meet new people.

Two-year-old Friend.ly had raised $5 million earlier this year from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Balderton Capital, SoftTechVC, Ron Conway, Naval Ravikant, Michael Birch, Chamath Palihapitiya and others. It had experienced sudden growth this spring after tweaking its Facebook virality. However, while Friend.ly said in a recent blog post it had 25 million users, AppData says only about 300,000 of them are active on a monthly basis, which is far fewer than its all-time high of 6.9 million active monthly users earlier this year.

Friend.ly said in a blog post today that the site ”will continue to operate as a separate service,” though the Friend.ly team will be working on new projects at Facebook. I’m not sure exactly how that will work, but perhaps they’ve figured out a way to replicate themselves!

Facebook’s statement on the matter:

We’re excited to announce that we recently acquired friend.ly, a Silicon Valley startup that created a really compelling way for people to express themselves and meet others through answering questions. We’ve admired the team’s efforts for some time now, and we’re looking forward to having Ed and his colleagues make a big impact on the way millions of people connect and engage with each other on Facebook.

I hadn’t covered friend.ly, but have written quite a bit about “social discovery” services if you want a backgrounder.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik