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Updated: Facebook has purchased social sharing service FriendFeed — in a deal that should give it both additional technology and engineers to beef up its product. Financial terms of the deal were not released, although the WSJ puts the price at nearly $50 million, including $15 million in cash, with the remainder in Facebook stock. That would likely represent a big return for FriendFeed’s investors, considering the company had raised just over $5 million in venture funding.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether — or how — the two services will be integrated together. FriendFeed lets users monitor contacts’ updates across an array of websites, including Facebook, from one central page. Facebook already features a prominent stream of updates on users’ home pages, so presumably the FriendFeed tie-in could lead to additional third-party sites and FriendFeed features being incorporated into that stream. Twitter, of course, also features a stream of updates on users’ home pages and Facebook introduced several features earlier this year to make its own stream more Twitter-like.
For now, FriendFeed will continue to operate separately, although company co-founder Bret Taylor says in a blog post, “We’re still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team.”
There’s speculation that the FriendFeed buy should aid Facebook’s plans to beef up its search engine. The company is testing an update to its search service that includes