FriendFeed is the fastest between social networking services: the first to add comments to status updates, third party feeds and the first one who realized the value of search, tested real time streams etc. So almost everything that they did first, the others successfully copied and jumped ahead.
Now, the company launched a redesign in order to counter the competition [or just present more features to be copied, Ed.] FriendFeed just launched a complete redesign, bringing lots of new features. It is still in beta, though.
From what we saw, this layout and service is simpler, faster and better than the old FriendFeed. Playing with the live streaming the whole last year was fruitful and you can see it in every corner of the page. The new interface also allows you to send direct messages and photos to your friends and lets you post these messages to obviously unavoidable Twitter. Communication between users is much better; you can share a conversation, direct messages, feed, and link to any number of your friends or just one friend. You can also create a chat room (private or public) between friends.
FriendFeed says they launched the interface in a beta format because they want to make adjustments to the interface as they receive feedback from users and plan to change the interface all together after they receive comments. On the other hand, a bigger mess arose from the allegedly secret press meeting, where the tech was demonstrated. The hyping up in the mainstream media didn't sit as well with various bloggers and journalists.