Friendster: A Brief Timeline

Friendster: The Timeline

  • May 2002: Friendster launches.
  • August 2002: Friendster garners 3 million registered users.
  • 2003: Friendster declines Google’s 30-million dollar offer.
  • April 2004: Friendster loses ground to MySpace in terms of page views
  • August 2006: Friendster develops widgets for personal profiles
  • September 2007: Launches Fan Profile pages, four years after MySpace
  • December 2007: Creates localized options for Chinese and Japanese audience
  • May 2008: Mobile site launches, hoping to capture the Asian audience.
  • December 2009: Friendster is sold to MOL Global, one of Asia’s predominant internet companies.
  • 2011: Friendster relaunches as a social gaming networking site.

Summary:
Although Friendster was the first social networking site to make waves, it didn’t develop as effectively as the other networking sites, particularly in the early stages of its life, and ultimately died due to its slow-moving updates and extremely successful competitors.

While Friendster was welcomed with open arms to three million users within months, the site didn’t make crucial upgrades to fit their growing audience. Many users reported major site errors and slow uploading times. Furthermore, the Friendster team neglected to think about the site’s future growth in terms of innovation and usability. In fact, when Google offered to buy Friendster out for 30 million dollars, the Friendster team declined, reportedly looking for a better offer.

However, no other offer was given to Friendster and in only two short years, Friendster had fallen behind, losing their users to MySpace and Facebook.

By 2006, Friendster, who had failed to adapt to new technological updates, was on a downward spiral. While widgets were added and fan profiles of celebrities/brands were created, Friendster’s users had already migrated to MySpace, which was growing at a rapid pace, and Facebook, who had started allowing more college users to sign-up.

In 2009, Friendster was sold to a MOL Global, owned by a Malaysian businessman, and is now a social gaming internet site, which makes sense as its current market is predominantly the Asian youth whose affinity for social gaming knows no boundaries.

Source:
Dybwad, B. (2009). Friendster’s fate: Sold to Malaysian e-commerce giant. Mashable. http://mashable.com/2009/12/09/friendster-deal-final/
Nicole, K. (2007). Friendster finally makes Asian presence official. Mashable. http://mashable.com/2007/12/06/friendster-japan-korea/
(2008). Friendster launches mobile in Asia. Mashable. http://mashable.com/2008/05/20/friendster-mobile-launches-in-asia/
Ostrow, A. (2007). Friendster adds fan profiles. Mashable. http://mashable.com/2007/09/27/friendster-fan-profiles/
Rivlin, G. (2006). Wallflower at a web party. Mashable. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/15/business/yourmoney/15friend.html
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