Flashback to 2002, there were no Facebook or Twitter yet. Then came a social networking site called Friendster. In no time at all, Friendster became a big hit. Ask any Asian Facebook users today if they’ve used Friendster and they will most likely answer in unison – that Friendster was their first taste of social networking.
Today, Friendster has lost its luster, thanks to Facebook and Myspace. Probably more than half of Friendster accounts have already been closed or deleted and the users are all on Facebook now. Are all hopes lost for what used to be Asia’s top social network? Enter a new Friendster – sporting a new look and perhaps better features. I was checking it out and I would honestly say that I don’t get the same enthuasiastic feeling when I’m using Facebook. Probably because I’m already biased towards netbooks. Or probably because at the back of my mind, Friendster is patterning its new features to Facebook.
Will the new design spark new interests on Friendster? It could be yes or no. I would like to believe that there will always be loyal Friendster users who will remain and would not transfer to Facebook.
Now here’s the more interesting part. Just in time for the launch of the new Friendster design, here comes a report by Reuters stating that Friendster is about to be sold to an Asian firm. The price – $100 million.
It may not be a big amount of money but if you’re running a social networking site which has been reduced to the regional level (Asia) and you’re going up against the biggies such as Facebook and Twitter, selling out for that amount if the best way to go for the Friendster owners.