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Facebook adds outside info to news feeds, plus Lexicon trend graphs

Facebook Lexicon
Facebook has rolled out two new features. The first is a Google Trends style tool called Lexicon that lets you graph popular keywords that have appeared on Facebook profiles, groups, and walls. The second is the addition of third party data to Facebook Mini-Feeds.

The graph feature is pretty much self explanatory. You enter a term, and Facebook will show you how frequently it pops up on the site. Enter two terms, separate by a comma, and you can compare their popularity. The Mini-Feed update is a little more interesting, but only a little. Users can now associate their Facebook accounts with Flickr, Picasa, Yelp, and so that pictures, reviews, and links they post to those sites will be added to their Facebook feeds.

The move seems designed to help Facebook compete with a number of new "lifestreaming" services like FriendFeed and Socialthing! which allow users to track updates from across a series of social networks. The difference between Facebook and those other sites is that FriendFeeed and Socialthing! let you track far more than 4 networks. Where's Twitter, Pownce, Digg, Reddit, and YouTube?

It should be interesting to see if Facebook fleshes out its lifestreaming features in the future. It would seem to be in the company's best interest to do so. Because if users decide that it's easier to keep track of their social networking data while visiting a 3rd party site like FriendFeed, that means they'll be spending less time at Facebook's page, which means less advertising revenue.

Tags: facebook, friendfeed, lexicon, lifestream, socialthing