FriendFeed future cloudy; co-founder Buchheit says he'll "do the right thing" for users

FriendFeed’s sale today to Facebook inevitably raises questions about whether the site will slowly fade out of existence as other acquired companies have.

“The long-term plans are something we need to work out here,” said FriendFeed co-founder Paul Buchheit. “This very much intersects with Facebook’s long-term plans. We are committed to doing the right thing for our users.”

Sounds fairly ominous for FriendFeed users, who have praised the site’s real-time updates and sharing features. FriendFeed compiles all your activities on other sites like Google Reader shares, tweets and blog posts into a single stream. Facebook has poached FriendFeed’s more popular features, and it makes the most sense to fold the site’s functionality into the larger social network instead of having two communities exist side-by-side.

It also doesn’t sound like FriendFeed’s 12 employees, who have working relationships that date back to Google’s early days, may stay together as a team in Facebook either. “To start, we come as a fairly cohesive group,” Buchheit said. “Certainly over time, we want to contribute as much as we can. Obviously this will be about finding the best opportunities for everyone.”

As such, both sides are making this sound like more of a talent acquisition — FriendFeed’s team has Gmail creator Buchheit and Google Maps architect Bret Taylor. “People like Paul are very unique,” he said. “We don’t pigeonhole people,” said Facebook’s vice president of engineering, Mike Schroepfer.