daedae writes "It seems Facebook has been granted a patent for the news feed, as a method of monitoring activities, storing them in a database, and displaying an appropriate set of activities to an appropriate set of users. 'That sounds pretty broad, and the social-networking world was all atwitter at the possible ramifications. Writing for ReadWriteWeb, Marshall Kirkpatrick proclaimed, "This could be very big. ... MySpace, Flickr, Yahoo, Twitter (?), the sharing part of Google Reader, and even Google Buzz — do all of these sites have technology at the center of their social experiences that falls under this new patent of Facebook's?" The patent may not be that broad. Nick O'Neill at the All Facebook blog wrote that the patent doesn't appear to cover status updates as used by Twitter. "It appears that this patent surrounds implicit actions. This means status updates, which is what Twitter is based on, are not part of this patent. ... Instead, this is about stories about the actions of a user's friends. While still significant, the implications for competing social networks may be less substantial," O'Neill wrote.'"
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