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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What happened to Friendster?

Did you guys remember Friendster? The Social Networking site that everybody loved even before Facebook came into the picture? Nowadays, no one would probably care about the old Social Networking site, but back in the old days, this site was booming, and had lots of Filipino fans. I recall it manage to grab a spot in the Top 20 of Alexa rankings. Filipinos frequently visit the site to upload their pics, post something, acquire testimonials, and message friends via Private Messaging. Well, Friendster kinda lack something, and although users' profile pages can be customized, there was no chatting feature present. However, during those days people are happy with whatever few they can get. But then, as far as the dynamic trend of technology goes, even what was previously conceived to be the best soon wear out its welcome.

When Facebook arrived, Friendster got chewed up. Most of its Filipino users migrated to the new social networking media, and the site was left with few actual activity. The problem with Friendster was, it lacks innovation.

So what happened to Friendster after it was abandoned? Well, they have noticed the sudden drop in the numbers of their visitors and had decided to redesign the site, however, it was too late, as they were just redesigning, Facebook was already blooming and expanding its capabilities, and so the poor site never recovered.

As early of 2011 before June, they sent their users an email advising them to export their profiles, photos, and blogs by May 31 or these will all be history. They added that all these will be erased to give way to the new Friendster which will launched after a couple of weeks.

"You can't compete with Facebook. They did a good job. It's a Facebook world," said Nikolai Galicia, Friendster and MOL country manager for the Philippines.

But Galicia clarified that Friendster is not shutting or closing down. "Friendster will continue. Mag-iiba lang ang focus niya [it will just change its focus]. After MOL bought Friendster, we are moving forward. The new Friendster will complement Facebook."

Friendster retained its name but it discontinued its social network services. As of June 2011, it was relaunched as a social entertainment site where users was able to play games and listen to music.

According to Galicia's rough estimates, Fifty percent of FB users don't like games. Thus, they will service the other fifty percent.

The Philippines has the most number of Friendster users worldwide with an estimated 20 million users. Galicia said they understand how important Friendster is to many Filipinos. "Nine years na ang Friendster. Parang diary na 'yan [Friendster is already 9 years. It's already like a diary]."

For those who hadn't came back to the site, you should already see that Friendster has changed a lot, and is no longer a social networking site although they still facilitate a forum where people could still be able to communicate.


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