Does Friendster profit from the Philippine mobile market?
Om noticed that Friendster is gaining some momemtum recently. I checked Friendster’s AdBrite stats and it indicates an average 11 Million pageviews per day from 510,000 uniques with majority of the traffic still coming from the US then followed by the Philippines and Malaysia. He thinks this growth/popularity still cannot be monetized and asks “What if Friendster could work with a local mobile company in Phillipines, and did a Friendster MVNO?”
A Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) is a mobile operator that does not own its own spectrum and usually does not have its own network infrastructure. Instead, MVNO’s have business arrangements with traditional mobile operators to buy minutes of use (MOU) for sale to their own customers.
As far as I can remember, there’s Friendster Mobile which has been available about a year ago thru Globe Telecoms and Smart Communications. Users are
charged Php 2.00 to Php5.00 per message (~$USD0.04 – $0.10). The revenue sharing between the telco and Friendster would still be in the area of 60% and 40%, respectively.
But does it work (read: earn)? I don’t think so. Even at that rate, it’s pretty damn expensive to use Friendster Mobile than just going to the net cafe and spend Php25.00 an hour to surf. Besides, I suppose these Friendster users would rather use the load credits to directly text chat their Friendster buddies.
Meanwhile, Friendster Classifieds is still looking for a good business model.