One of the key components of FriendFeed is its ability to construct a conversation around an idea no matter where it’s originally placed (on Twitter, on your blog, a shared Google Reader item, etc). Some have questioned the usefulness of moving a conversation outside its intended medium and into a new environment. Those people will love today’s update which gives FriendFeed the ability to send replies from a comment back to Twitter as The Last Podcast quickly noticed today.
That’s right, you can now click on the “Comment” link below a tweet (Twitter message) in FriendFeed and you will see a checkbox below the input area that reads: “Also send this comment as an @reply twitter from [your username].” By providing FriendFeed with your Twitter username and password it can send these replies back to Twitter, essentially making FriendFeed into a reply-only Twitter client (of course the service also does much more, see our previous coverage).
One week ago, FriendFeed implemented its search functionality which many saw as a killer feature for the service (our coverage). This made it possible to search through old FriendFeed items from the wide range of services it pulls in — a feature further highlighted by the fact that Twitter itself still does not have a proper search ability, but you can use FriendFeed for that purpose.
Believe it or not, the “reply-to-Twitter” feature was one of just several updates FriendFeed implemented today on its so-called “Fix-it Day”. The company also added the ability to pull in Disqus comments, Seesmic video posts and SlideShare items among others. A number of bugs were also fixed (more on those here).
When we spoke to FriendFeed before their public launch last month the company made it clear that openness was a focus of its network. This stands in contrast to a network like Facebook which does not allow other sites to access the data that it publishes in your News Feed for example. Obviously there are privacy implications to think about, but if a user wishes to send that data to another service (like FriendFeed), shouldn’t they be able to?
Now, if FriendFeed could post new messages to Twitter, and not just replies — I may just make FriendFeed my default Twitter client.
[update]: Here’s FriendFeed’s very short official post on the update (you may recognize the example user in the image).