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Friendster to be acquired for $100 Million

Reuters is reported last Friday that Friendster will be acquired by end of December for a nice sum of $100 Million. The buyer is an Asian publicly listed firm but was not named.

friendsterCoincidentally, Friendster also launched their new website with a new logo and design last Friday. It makes sense that an Asian company would buy Friendster, considering that majority of the 100 Million Friendster users are from this part of the region.

Besides, the dynamics of social networking in Asia is a bit different that in the west. In Japan, it’s Mixi; in Korea, it’s CyWorld; and in China, QQ is huge (made $500+ million dollars in 2007 alone). In the Philippines, Friendster is still a strong contender next to Facebook. Friendster gets a significant share in online ad spending in the Philippines. Smart and a number of call center companies are big advertisers on Friendster. It also has GCash for online remittance (big on OFWs).

Friendster is shifting its monetization strategy from advertising to micro-transactions — buying and sending virtual gifts to friends. This model has worked great for Cyworld and QQ so hopefully, Friendster would do good as well.

Here’s a presentation by Benjamin Joffe, Managing Director at Asia Internet consultancy +8* and Co-Founder of MobileMonday Beijing, during last year’s Media 08 event:

Friendsters’ $100 million price tag might be small change compared to Facebook’s $10 billion valuation, but at least it’s already cashing in. I remember Google wanting to buy Friendster for $30 million back in the 2003.

{via Reuters}

Update: It’s official, Malaysian company MOL buys Friendster for undisclosed sum:

Hello,

I’d like to share the following news from Friendster.

Friendster has just announced that it has been acquired by MOL Global Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of leading online payment solutions provider MOL AccessPortal Berhad based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Friendster and MOL Global have entered into a definitive agreement under which MOL Global will acquire 100% of Friendster, Inc. Following the acquisition, the operations of MOL and Friendster will be combined to create Asia’s largest end-to-end content, distribution and commerce network, pairing MOL’s offline retail channel partners and payment platform with Friendster’s large online footprint, social network and user community in Asia.

This release is currently being distributed and syndicated throughout the US, Southeast Asia, and globally.

Thanks!
Jeff Roberto
Director, Global Product


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

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36 Responses

  1. anonymous says:

    still not going back to Friendster. everyone’s on Facebook already. LOL

  2. Jepz says:

    Sad to say.. Friendster era is over. Everybody uses Facebook now.

  3. Adrian says:

    facebook na po. medyo mabagal friendster.

  4. maki says:

    facebook is definitely more interactive.

  5. whaâ„¢ says:

    w/o FRIENDSTER there will be no FACEBOOK. let juST gave respect friendster. they are the one who made the networking site sikat AND IN

  6. jpeb says:

    the founders of friendster should have agreed to be purchased by google a few years ago. the entry of google in friendster might have abated the rise of facebook. oh well ganoon talaga ang buhay…

  7. mhon says:

    Wha is right…
    mga walang utang na loob!!! LOL.

    “Matapos niyo ko pagsawaan iiwan niyo din ako!” -Friendster

    Pay respect…
    I’m sure mga farmers este facebookers, nag friendster din kayo noon bago pa man dumating ang Farmville este Facebook pala.hehe

  8. genezide says:

    noon pa man eh boring na talaga ang friendster.. facebook gives a new look for networking sites.. something you can enjoy.. so walang utang ang facebook sa friendster.. IMO lang..

  9. Bachan says:

    dapat faacebook na lang bumili sa friendster hehe.

  10. xxxx says:

    dapat kasi inalok na nila ung offer ni google nun pa.. eh ngaun hindi sila nag ka ganyan…

  11. edward says:

    I’m not fun of using friendster anymore. Facebook is really the best!!

  12. Gwapito says:

    Friendster, grab the $100M and run!

  13. Both facebook and friendster doesn’t have feature that matters to me, the feature wherein you can search for someone in a particular location or country, you can even search who’s online in a particular area. For example, who’s online in metro manila right now. By the way, myyearbook have that feature.

  14. marvin says:

    dapat ay magtayo na lang ulit ng bagong social networking site ang friendster… A new beginning..

  15. AdRian says:

    friendster noon..
    facebook ngayon..

    pero pare-parehas lng naman yan..
    we can always use both or more naman eh..

    ang friendster kc madaling maghanap ng user kahit hndi ka naka-login..

  16. Josh says:

    Well, it’s not like it’s zero-sum. Using one won’t stop you from using the other.

    If I had to choose, I’d use Facebook, although the quality of Facebook has really taken a nosedive in the past few months. I seem to spend a lot of time hitting the Hide button – to hide all the nonsense apps and games.

  17. Carl says:

    Mas interactive lang ang Facebook. FB is like the Twitter of social networking. Apart from that, they’re all the same.

  18. guyrony says:

    Exactly, friendster already had its limelight, it’s now facebook’s turn.let the harvesting for more fb users begin! :)

  19. bugoy says:

    isa lang masasabi ko, maraming binagong buhay ang friendster. ^_^

    ang mali lang ng friendster eh hindi nila pinagaralang mabuti ang market nila. pinipilit kasing pumasok sa west samantalang major users nila eh asians. naging stagnant ang site. walang interactions.

    if i were to improve friendster ganito gagawin ko.

    1) focus lang muna sa asia

    2) categorize ko yung users depende sa interest nila. (sa interest lang naman makakabawi uli ng user) make a page for people who are into health, video streaming (like metacafe), photography (like flickr), advertising pages (multiply), blogging (like wordpress), online flash games (like y8. hindi naman siguro mahirap pagsamahin lahat ng ito sa friendster dahil nagawa na nila, hindi lang nila inimproved.

    3) put chat window

    4) wag lang maghakot ng advertisers. kailangan mo rin magadvertise. put banners in malls. magorganize ng campus activities. (ang ginawa kasi nila grand EB ata na hindi naman naging matunog) advertise din sa television and magazine. believe me, halimbawang magpacontest ka, lets say yung katulad ng ginawa ng pampers na best hugmamahal ata yun, you will get the attention of mothers so instant active users agad. sa photography ganun din.

    “if friendster wants active users, friendster must be active”

    5) customizing profile page is “pambata” lahat kasi ata ng nakikita kong active users ng FS ngayon eh mga bata na gustong ipangalandakan everything about them. kailangan atang iminimize ito.

    6) maghanap ng sponsors para makatipid.

    7) pag di nila nagawa ito ewan ko lang.

    note: i use facebook. ^_^ but i respect friendster.

  20. RJ says:

    I feel bad for Friendster. Tama si jpeb, sana tinanggap na noon pa ng Friendster ang alok ng Google to the tune of 30 million.. It would have given the site an opportunity to redeem itself.. Have you seen Orkut (Google’s social networking site)? Di sya sikat sa atin but in Brazil and India sikat na sikat sya. When I checked the site, ang galing ng interface, parang Gmail lang, mabilis at di na kailangan i-refresh/i-load yung buong page, part lang ng interface/screen ang magbabago (AJAX ata yung gamit ng Google).. Kung ganun yung interface ng Friendster way back 2003, baka mas naka-engganyo ng users. Anyway, barya lang sa Google ang 100 million so I wish na interesado pa rin ang Google sa Friendster kahit na may Orkut na sila. :)

  21. loadex says:

    Sobrang dami siguro ng pera ng ASIAN firm na bibili ng friendster for $100M.. when everybody is almost on facebook.

    Do they see something that the current owners don’t see?

    Or the Asian firm is a dummy of either Google, FB and Myspace.. and eventually folding up with any of the 3 after a year?

    Friendster still holds a huge Asian Market which Orkut, Myspace and even FB can easily add to their own data base kung sila nga behind the Asian firm.

    But I might be wrong!

  22. Ron says:

    My advice to the owner of Friendster… don’t be a moron and refuse this offer. Take this now and leave the poor Friendster to someone who is also a moron, who is willing to acquire a site that is in the verge of falling down. HAHAHA!

  23. I’d still go for friendster… considering they’re the one who pioneered the Social networking sites, that Myspace, Facebook are adopting. What lacks is the trust system, since there are a lot of issus concerning Friendster like private profile that can be hacked, the so called Friendster virus and more. But I’m still keeping my friendster account and trying to resist in making or opening a FB account. Since I don’t see the need to change provider.

    In related news: http://teknisyan.blogspot.com/2009/12/tech-news-of-week-12012009-12062009.html

  24. turon says:

    Bad or good? I hope that Friendster will be succesful this time.

  25. chill says:

    facebook is much more interactive but hey meron na rin farm ang friendster! kala nyo facebook lang meron huh! hehe

  26. adjie kuriu says:

    pra sa akin, ung mga etchosera diyan, mga pasosyal kasi FACEBOOK users daw sila kono… eh prang di kayo nag Friendster. Ang tanong, nung lumabas ba ang Facebook sa Europe and States nkasunod ba kaagad ang mga Filipino na gumawa ng account don? hnd nmn db? syempre nkigaya tyong makisali sa FB kasi umuuso na world wide. Alanagan nmn magpahuli tyo. eh ang mga pilipino kilala yan sa pagiging pasosyal. haha… xD

    bka nga kpag myspace nmn ang umusbong sa pilipinas, lahat na ng pilipino malamang magsisilipatan narin o di nmn kaya gagawa narin sila ng account. ung iba mga trying hard sa pag twitter, eh hnd nmn sila nababagay don masabi lng na “I have twitter account, too. Follow me, alright?” bongga db?

    ay sows! some might have blogger account just to say they are really blogging random stuffs.. what a shame! mga social climber tlga.

    good luck! haha.. xD

  27. Chan says:

    para sakin okay Facebook sakin, kasi sa Friendster, hindi mo na madistinguish kung sino yung user na yun dahil pati pangalan naka costumize gamit yung ASCII codes. Sana kasi real name ang gamit nila eh.

  28. adjie kuriu says:

    ay oo nga sbgay… tama ka diyan. pero syempre pra skin, mas gusto ko FB kaysa FS. dinedepensahan k olng nmn FS kasi db… user din ako dati. until now. ni hindi ko na nga nadadalaw. cguro about 3 times lng a month. tsaka sa FB, tanging kakilala mo lng tlga ang maari mong i-add at mka-add syo. unlike FS, random people ang mag-aadd sayo. tsaka dmi posers don. mga pretentious people. un lng.. Happy Holidays guys! (n.n)

  29. Friendster For Sale (FFS) says:

    friendster user ako dati, una sa lahat kasi un lng nmn ang nagustuhan kong socail networking site saka majority ng classmates ko gumagamit nun. pero ngayon, facebook user na ako, i rarely open my fs account nowadays. mas IN na kasi ngaun ang facebook. willing pa sna ako imaintain ang fs ko, kaso ung speed nung site, ang bagal. malabo nmn net ko lng may problem kung sa ibang site ang bilis with Broadband connection. nung nabalitaan ko na nagbago na ng looks ang FS, i opened mine.. pero sadyang nawalan n tlga ako ng gana sa FS.. onti n lng ksi ang gumagamit nun sa mga friends ko tapos un nga mabagal ung site and mas entertaining and interactive ang facebook. pero kahit FB fan ako, i still respect FS. connection ko pa din ang FS ko sa ibang friends ko.

  30. nic says:

    obviously, kaya naging hit ang FB sa mga Pinoy e dahil madaming tao gustong maki-sunod sa uso.
    ;P

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