FriendFeed adds new widget features; get ready for FriendFeed-powered live blogging on VentureBeat

I’ve already been enjoying the new version of “lifestreaming” site FriendFeed, launched on Monday, as it lets me easily follow select people and conversation rooms. But that wasn’t the only release this week. Today, the Mountain View, Calif. company is making its service more useful, by offering a new set of features for its existing widgets.

The most interesting one lets you embed a widget of a FriendFeed room into your own web site. VentureBeat has used Friendfeed rooms in the past, to live-blog keynote speeches at conferences, something many of our readers seem to have enjoyed.

I’ve included the widget (below) from when MG Siegler live-blogged Apple’s developer conference earlier this year, using this new feature. [Update: Siegler asked for this embeddable rooms feature in his wrap-up post in June. He also asked for a way to directly post media, which you can do now for pictures thanks to the update earlier this week.]

For the next event we live-blog, this widget will let our many readers who don’t use FriendFeed also see the conversation (and maybe decide to join FriendFeed, too).

Note, for non-Friendfeed users: The core feature of the site lets you create a profile where you subscribe to other sites, such as Digg, YouTube, Twitter, and many more. Then, your friends can subscribe to your stream of activity on the site, comment on those items, and designate their affection for particular items through “likes.” Rooms, somewhat analogous to chat rooms, let a user create a place for specific topics, that others can also subscribe to and participate in.

Other features released today include a personal FriendFeed badge, showing stats like the feeds you track, your comments and your friends items that you liked. There’s also a “share on Friendfeed” bookmarklet, to let you more easily share posts from a site to FriendFeed.

The company also is planning on introducing a way to get feeds to show up in Friendfeed even faster than they already do. Despite “lifestreaming” competition from social networks like Facebook and a range of startups, the company continues to set itself apart through great execution on useful features.

Find me on FriendFeed here, along with fellow VentureBeat writers MG Siegler, Dean Takahashi, Anthony Ha, Chris Morrison and Dan Kaplan.

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