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Seven Years of Social Networking




I still remember the day I opened an account on Friendster — it was September 2003 and a friend created an account for me. I wasn’t really into the idea but eventually got the hang of it. Seven years have passed and a lot has changed — yet, the fundamentals of social networking remains the same.

Friendster had about 5 years to its credit; MySpace took over for a couple more, then Facebook is now the reigning king of social networks. It might still be the “in thing” for a couple more years until a better and much fresher social network emerges.

facebook

This one thing I learned thru the years — there’s really no loyalty with a platform, just a loyalty to the concept of social interaction and engagement. Just look at how the MySpace crowd moving to Twitter and significantly influencing the atmosphere (see Twitter vs. Justin Bieber).

But we have to give credit where credit is due. Friendster really introduced us to the idea of social networking. Before that, I can’t remember any other site that allows for a more social connection than Friendster. There was a site called Alumni.net (which I recently discovered was founded by a Filipino) that allows for people to add schoolmates to a directory-style listing (IMO, the site is somewhat a pre-cursor to SNS).

friendster

It doesn’t even end there — there’s Twitter, Gowalla/SquareSpace and Tumblr/Yahoo! Meme — all trying to take away a piece of the pie.

Seven years is such a long time in internet-years. I imagine it will be a totally different scene 5 years from now. We can’t really say what it is or how it will look like but with the emergence of more smartphones (read: cheap Android phones), a better infrastructure (3.5G/4G) and more affordable connectivity, the social networks of the future will hopefully be more participative (more sharers than lurkers) and platform-agnostic (so it doesn’t matter if your account is on FB, Friendster or MySpace since everything will be inter-connected).

(… and no, I don’t think we would go as far as electing our President via FB Fans or Twitter Followers. Otherwise, Vice Ganda could top the list at 1.5 million).

So, I’m curious, what was your very first social network experience and when did you join? Mine was Friendster, September 2003.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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28 Responses

  1. Jam. says:

    I was just a grade 4 student when I register at Friendster. AFAIK, 2003 too :)

  2. Jon says:

    Friendster. I remember that being the craze back when I was in highschool, and a “testi” was the most important thing a “friend” could do for you. Jeez, I hated those days when my peers would bug me to give them those testimonials, even if I didn’t have an account to begin with.

    Facebook is a little more future-proof, but we’ll never know when a new SNS would pop up and dominate.

  3. whaâ„¢ says:

    hahaha… friendster is my 1st social networking account. way back in 2003 kasabay ng 1st passport ko. thats in may of 2003

  4. Tin says:

    Friendster, August 2003 :)

  5. DeNc!oH says:

    Mine was face-pic.com, 1999 (if I remember it correctly ^_^),

    Then friendster, Decemebr 2003

  6. chrysanSID says:

    i remember it was friendster. then when i started working for a call center, we also had a social networking account which we handled. it was called ringo.com. then there was also tickle.com and an online dating website (lovehappens.com). friendster.com’s online/email customer service is based here in makati.

  7. Jaypee says:

    The first social network I joined was AsianAvenue.com back in 1998. I joined Friendster in June of 2003 then Myspace later that year. I still have my accounts on these sites but I’m only active on Facebook.

    Diaspora is supposed to be the next thing in social networks, its an open-source social network that protects the users privacy, something Facebook is having issues with recently. Diaspora is gaining a lot of support and funding right now.

  8. Teknisyan says:

    Member Since: Mar 2004 and still active.. thought.. I’m trying really really hard not to open my own facebook account! ;)

    http://teknisyan.blogspot.com

  9. Teknisyan says:

    Member Since: Mar 2004 and still active.. thought.. I’m trying really really hard not to open my own facebook account! ;)

  10. JeffZ says:

    Friendster was my first social networking website and I joined on October 2003. I got addicted to it and I remembered I’m always waiting for someone to write a testimonial for me. :D Tagging and comments are not yet present and I think Facebook really revolutionized social networking.. Facebook even surpassed the popularity set by Friendster before.. :D

  11. Euan says:

    Friendster. I checked my Friendster profile and I found out that I’m a member since Feb 2004. After that, its Facebook. I never tried Multiply, Tumblr, Plurk, etc. I did check out Orkut out of curiosity. I like the interface but the lack of other users (read: friends who use it) made it a no-deal for me. I signed up to Twitter as well, and I like its simplicity, very much like Google. So currently, its FB and Twitter for me.. Although I’ll try Diaspora (http://www.joindiaspora.com/) when it launches.. :D

  12. Adrian says:

    Friendster November 2003

  13. yuga says:

    @jaypee — oh, I remember AsianAvenue. It’s an SNS site pala?

  14. Cario says:

    Started out with friendster then followed shortly by MySpace and then Facebook. But I noticed I only stick to one social networking site at a time. Right now I no longer open my friendster and myspace account.

    Sir Yuga,
    Can you confirm to Sun cellular the free fb mobile access announced earlier:

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=391295167130

    Soon on smart too. I wonder why globe was left out?

  15. simplynice93 says:

    Friendster! I have been a member since March 2004. It was my wife that introduced me to Facebook.

  16. Jaypee says:

    @yuga – Yes, AsianAvenue was a social networking site that focused on Asian Americans. I joined it after my friend from the US invited and introduced me to it.

  17. yizhan says:

    i still remember my friends used to text me just to say “testi naman dyan oh”, friendster was the first SNS that i’ve joined way back 2004 and joined facebook and twitter last year.

  18. dan says:

    Friendster – Feb 2004

  19. JP says:

    Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook calls FB users DUMBF*CKS.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/well-these-new-zuckerberg-ims-wont-help-facebooks-privacy-problems-2010-5

    Has your pride really gotten into you, Mark?

  20. ocean16 says:

    i started with friendster.. then myspace..

    did hi5, zorphia.. stayed for quite some years with friendster, then i found facebook.

    doing a bit of twitter, tagged, flickr.. but still more on facebook.

  21. Uchiha Yueh says:

    Some social networking sites that has been closed or forgotten:

    Friendzy (Closed)
    Berkster (Closed)
    Hipstir (Still active)

  22. Eran says:

    friendster since 2004

  23. anne says:

    face-pic 2002, college days

  24. RaGe Einzeln says:

    face-pic year 2002 I think
    Yahoo! groups
    faceparty

    friendster on 2003
    hi-5
    never had myspace
    then facebook on 2008

  25. reevhen says:

    i join social networks when i was in college only.

    Visit this social network its my favorite placeto hangout http://swom.com/?r=69462

  26. mine was friendster..
    member since November 2003..

  27. ec says:

    before there was a globe forum, 2006
    then i transfered to w5c.org their have there own new style nowadays 2006 redirected to pinoywap.net 2006-2007 before frienster 2007. myspace doesnt hit my taste buds but i created an account way back 2009, then at first facebook doesnt attrack me to resign on friendster until i saw the mafiawar that catch the most of my attention. since then i packedup and move to the new world and now i forgot about my old friendster.

  28. rayban glass says:

    I want getting over a damaged heart will be so easy as following a number steps..but its no longer…

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