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Friendster Logo
New Friendster Homepage.jpg
Screenshot of Friendster's main page, updated in December 2009
Type of site {{{type}}}
Registration optional
Available language(s): English, Filipino, Malay, Vietnamese, Thai, Bahasa, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish
Created by {{{author}}}
Current status active

Friendster is a privately owned social networking website.<ref name="VentureBeat">Eric Eldon, August 4, 2008. "Friendster raises $20 million, nabs a Googler to be CEO" VentureBeat. Retrieved December 4, 2008.</ref><ref name="NYT">Gary Rivlin, October 15, 2006. "Wallflower at the Web Party." New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2008.</ref> Its headquarters are in Sydney, Australia.<ref>CNN, Can MySpace make a comeback?</ref> The service allows users to contact other members, maintain those contacts, and share online content and media with those contacts.<ref name="ataglance">Friendster at a Glance document</ref> The website is also used for dating and discovering new events, bands, and hobbies. Users may share videos, photos, messages and comments with other members via their profile and their network.<ref name="ataglance" />

Friendster has over 115 million registered users and over 61 million unique visitors a month globally. The website receives approximately 19 billion page views per month, and is in the top 200 global websites based on web traffic.<ref name="alex">Alexa Top 100</ref>

Over 90% of Friendster's traffic comes from Asia. In Asia, Friendster has more monthly unique visitors than any other social network.<ref name="comscore">ComScore Press Release, June 30, 2008. "India and China Propel Internet Audience Growth in Asia-Pacific Region, According to comScore", Press Release. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref><ref name="TIME">Ling Woo Liu, January 29, 2008. "Friendster Moves to Asia", TIME. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref><ref name = eight>Press Release, October 21, 2008. "Friendster is the #1 Social Network for Adults and Youth in Malaysia", Press Release. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref><ref name="nine">Press Release, October 21, 2008. "Friendster is the #1 Social Network for Adults and Youth in Singapore", Press Release. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref> The top 10 countries accessing Friendster, according to Alexa, as of May 7, 2009 are the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the United States, Singapore, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and India.<ref name="alex" />



Friendster was founded by computer programmer Jonathan Abrams in 2002 in Mountain View, California before the creation, launch and adoption of MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and others.<ref name="wired">Betsy Schiffman, May 9, 2008. "In Praise of Friendster", Wired. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref>

Friendster was founded to create a safer, more effective environment for meeting new people by browsing user profiles and connecting to friends, friends of friends and so on, allowing members to expand their network of friends more rapidly than in real life, face-to-face scenarios.<ref name="NYT" /> went live in March 2003 and was quickly adopted by three million users within the first few months.<ref name="NYT" /> Publications including Time, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly and Spin wrote about Friendster's success and the founder appeared on magazine covers and late-night talk shows.<ref name="NYT" />

Today, Friendster has a membership base of more than 115 million registered users and continues to grow, especially in Asia.<ref name="eight" /><ref name="nine" /><ref name="wired" />

By mid-2005, Friendster had lost its grip in the United States because of the rise of MySpace and Facebook. However, it started becoming popular among teenagers in Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

In August 2008, Friendster hired ex-Google executive Richard Kimber as the CEO.<ref>Press Release, August 18, 2008. "Friendster Deploys OpenSocial Support for Benefit of 75 Million Users, Developers and Industry", Press Release. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref><ref>Press Release, August 5, 2008. "Friendster Announces New CEO And $20 Million in Funding", Press Release. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref><ref name="heather">Heather Havenstein, October 28, 2008. "Friendster Opens Platform to Developers", PC World. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref> Kimber, who was previously the regional managing director of South Asia at Google, is focusing on Friendster's expansion in Asia.<ref>Jessica Vascellaro, August 5, 2008. "New Friendster CEO Has Asia Focus", The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref>

On December 9, 2009, it was announced that Friendster has been acquired by MOL, a Malaysian company.<ref>Rao, Leena. "Malaysian Payments Company MOL Global Snaps Up Friendster", TechCrunch, 2009-12-09. Retrieved on 16 December 2009. </ref>

Financial history

The company was originally funded in 2003 with a $12 million investment by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, and private investors.<ref name="NYT" /><ref>Nikhil Hutheesing, March 22, 2004. "Corporate Inter-Face-Time." Forbes. Retrieved December 4, 2008.</ref>

In 2003, Friendster management received a $30 million buyout offer from Google, which they declined.<ref name="NYT" />

Friendster received another $3 million in funding in February 2006 led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Benchmark Capital.<ref name="CNET">Dawn Kawamoto, August 21, 2006. "Friendster scoops up $10 million in funding." CNET News. Retrieved December 4, 2006.</ref> In August 2006, Friendster also received $10 million in funding in a round led by DAG Ventures<ref name="CNET" />, and Friendster announced in August 2008 that it had raised an additional $20 million in funding in a round led by IDG Ventures.<ref name="VentureBeat" /><ref>Caroline McCarthy, August 5, 2008. "Friendster gets $20 million, ex-Googler as CEO." CNET News. Retrieved December 4, 2008.</ref> Today, Friendster is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, IDG Ventures and individual investors.

Items and services

In October 2009, Friendster announced a global partnership with MOL AccessPortal Berhad (MOL), a leading payments provider leveraging a network of over 500,000 physical and virtual payment channels worldwide, to power the Friendster Wallet and a payments platform enabling micro-spending for over 115 million users on Friendster. The Friendster Wallet will support a variety of payment methods including pre-paid cards, mobile payments, online payments and credit card payments.

In 2007 Friendster added Fan Profiles, the Friendster Developer Program (open platform) and starting launching in 9 additional languages. In 2008, Friendster continued to launch the site in new languages and also launched Friendster Mobile which includes SMS text alerts.<ref name="TIME" /><ref name="heather" /><ref>Press Release, June 26, 2008. "Friendster Announces Mobile Text Alerts", Press Release. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref><ref>Julie Sloane, September 24, 2007. "Friendster Debuts Chinese Site," Epicenter from Wired. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref>

Fan Profiles: Fan Profiles encompass over 40 different types of "entities"<ref>Friendster Fan Profiles Page</ref> – including artists, celebrities, models, musicians and organizations. Such entities can create a "Fan Profile" which helps them promote themselves and build a fan base on Friendster. Fan Profiles are also accessible to non-Friendster members via search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. <ref name="caroline">Caroline McCarthy, September 27, 2007. "Friendster, in a bid for popularity, introduces 'Fan Profiles'." CNET News. Retrieved December 4, 2008.</ref> Friendster users can become fans of their favorite entities and keep up to date on all their latest news. There are over 40 million total fan connections to Fan Profiles on Friendster.<ref name="ataglance" /><ref name="caroline" />

Friendster Mobile and Friendster Text Alerts: Friendster mobile ( is free for users from any web-enabled mobile device and is available globally. Friendster mobile is available in several languages in addition to English (Indonesian, Malay, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese). Friendster users in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines can subscribe to and receive SMS text alerts on their mobile devices for network activity and friend related updates. This service is expected to roll out in more countries soon.<ref>Press Release, June 26, 2008. "Friendster Announces Mobile Text Alerts", Press Release. Retrieved October 27, 2008.</ref>

Languages: Languages include Filipino, Thai, Malay, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Chinese (both Traditional and Simplified), Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.<ref name="ataglance" /> Until September 2007, Friendster was only available in English. 10 new languages were added in as many months from 2007 up to January 2009, with Filipino being the newest language to be included.<ref>Press Release, January 27, 2009. "Friendster Now Available in Tagalog." News Blaze. Retrieved on February 4, 2009.</ref> Users can also enter content on Friendster in any language.

Friendster launched all language support on a single domain - Friendster is the first global online social network to support Asian languages and others on a single domain – – so that users from around the world can talk to each other.<ref>Press Release, May 15, 2008. "Friendster, Largest Social Network in Asia, Now in Vietnamese." Press Release. Retrieved December 4, 2008.</ref>

Over 70% of the world's Internet users can now use Friendster.<ref>Press Release, June 18, 2008. "Friendster Now Available In Malay." Press Release. Retrieved December 4, 2008.</ref>

Friendster Developer Program: Friendster has been an open site since August 2006 when it first began allowing widgets and content to be embedded in user profile pages.<ref name="BW"> Catherine Holahan, May 22, 2007. "Sharing the Widget Wealth." BusinessWeek. Retrieved December 4, 2008.</ref> Roughly 39 percent of Friendster's users have widgets on their profile.<ref name="BW" />

Friendster gives software developers access to APIs that utilize content and data within the Friendster network to build and deploy customizable applications on and off Friendster. Friendster's Developer Program is an open, non-proprietary platform with an open revenue model.<ref name="BW" /><ref name="sexywidget">Lawrence Coburn, November 3, 2008. "Widget Summit: Hi5 vs. Friendster." Sexy Widget. Retrieved December 4, 2008.</ref>

Friendster was the first to support both the OpenSocial and the Facebook Platform.<ref name="sexywidget" />

Friendster Relaunch: On 10 December 2009 Friendster relaunched its new website with new interface in conjunction with its new financial acquisition by Malaysian Company - MOL Global Pte. Ltd. ( Affiliation with Malaysia Berjaya Group )


Friendster holds four fundamental online social networking patents for 'Connecting Users in an Online Computer System Based on Their Relationships within Social Networks,' 'Method of Inducing Content Uploads in a Social Network,' 'System and Method for Managing Connections in an Online Social Network' and 'Compatibility Scoring of Users in a Social Network.'<ref>Caroline McCarthy, December 9, 2008. "Friendster awarded 'compatibility scoring' patent." CNET. Retrieved December 9, 2008.</ref><ref>Eric Eldon, December 9, 2008. "Friendster nabs fourth social networking patent, dozen more pending." VentureBeat. Retrieved on December 9, 2008.</ref>


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External links

Original Source

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