before you read my opinion on the two relatively similar services, i would recommend checking out read/writeweb’s look at friendfeed versus socialthing. while i think the article has a great overview and good points, i do have to disagree with the conclusion.
in short, the idea behind both services is to help users lifestream all of their social media activity through one simple aggregator and allow their friends on each network to subscribe to these actions and interact with them. thus far, friendfeed has an advantage because it has more services integrated into its stream and has more media exposure, which is understandable because they have been around much longer. by comparison, socialthing only has 6 services integrated (versus friendfeed’s almost 30) and has a fairly small community.
the main problem i have with friendfeed, (and the lack of which i think is socialthing’s killer app) is that friendfeed isn’t simply an aggregator, it is a network of its own. for example, when you interact with someone’s stream in friendfeed, let’s say a friend’s twitter message, the interaction is posted within friendfeed and not on the external site.
socialthing on the other hand is quite simply an aggregator and not a network (at least not yet) and the reason why i love it is because when i interact with an element from socialthing, the interaction appears on the external site (from which the lifestream was aggregated) and not on socialthing itself. for example, when i reply to someone’s twitter message, the reply appears on twitter (whereas on friendfeed, when i comment on a twitter message, the comment stays on friendfeed).
in the future i can foresee socialthing allowing you to respond to comments on your blog, or social news sites, or on people’s social networking profiles, and more, directly from their service and without having to visit each site independently.
quite frankly, we don’t need a social network of social networks because that just further exaserbates our information overload problem. what we need is an aggregator of social networks so that we can efficiently consume and dispose of (or interact with) information – which is precisely what socialthing does.
please leave a comment if you would like an invite to socialthing.