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Why are Pinoys stuck with Friendster?

I was interviewed by PBS Mediashift associate editor Jennifer Woodard Maderazo about social networking sites and how Friendster has found its home in the hearts of millions of Filipinos (read article here: Orkut, Friendster Get Second Chance Overseas).

One of the questions she asked me (though it wasn’t included in that article) was whether Friendster had any competition for Filipino’s attention online. I replied nothing came close and even the well-funded start-up Eskwela.com didn’t made a dent.

But why? Have the online Pinoy really stuck it out with Friendster?

  • The one main reason I can think of is the first mover advantage — first come, first served. Had Orkut came out first, maybe we’re all fighting it out with the Brazilians on the top spot.
  • Everybody’s already there, so why move out? Since Friendster came out first and droves of people, friends, long lost classmates, and officemates are all in your Friend’s list, its gonna be hard moving to a new service without them in tow.
  • The Friendster clones actually helped the brand and the marketing — Prendster, Fwendz, etc. — nothing beats recall if a dozen other sites you go to reminds you of the original one.

If some people say Friendster sucks, then why haven’t the 5 Million Filipinos moved over to say Facebook or MySpace? Your guess is as good as mine.

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

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39 Responses

  1. Yes, in our country, it is usually first-come-first-served. Filipinos are not fond of migrating to a new service because all their friends are not fond of migrating themselves. In a group of 10, it must be at least half who must migrate to say MySpace.com before the other half even consider doing the same.

  2. jayvee f. says:

    the thing with social networks is its like the next big fashion craze. you’re only in it depending on who else is wearing that shirt.

    though friendster was the first mover, i believe that other services such as multiply and pretty soon, facebook are dominant players as well.

    also, i found it weird that multiply didn’t come up in the interview for PH-favored social networking services. what does this mean? i guess it means that the westerners arent aware of that phenomenon because it was overshadowed by myspace and facebook.

  3. eric says:

    AMEN to reason #2…

    ayoko na lumipat sa myspace.

  4. L.A says:

    I hate friendster! So over rated, even though may account ako dun I’d rather stay on Multiply.

    And one thing na napansin ko dun eh some are somewhat mang-mang sa ibang bagay online for them to try lalo na yung walang computer at home with internet. Biro mo sa internet shop puro friendster ang ginagawa ng lahat sa U-belt parang friendster lang ang buhay nila dun LOL! ^^,

    Dalawa lang alam nilang gawin gumamit ng Word at Friendster…yung iba nga hindi pa maalala yung mga email add password nila eh. Nyahaha! Nakakaloka!!

  5. Nick says:

    I wrote about this a while back, maybe you guys would be interested on my take. Although I think your first point with regards to Friendster already being first to establish a market here in The Philippines is the key reason.

    You can read my Friendster article here

  6. Miguel says:

    I don’t grow my Friendster network anymore, but I go there for “background checks” on people. Multiply doesn’t have complete profiles of people.

    I’m not on Facebook – I got an invitation but there’s no compelling reason for me to join. Perhaps that compelling reason would be their apps platform?

    But, some people don’t want to be found. I hear of people deleting their Friendster accounts.

    On a related note, it seems that LinkedIn usage is growing. Good!

  7. Andrew says:

    Well, add to the fact that “friendster” has already become a part of our dictionary. Even if you’re on Multiply, you’ll still find yourself saying “Friendster kita sa multiply?”

  8. yabangers says:

    ang yabang mo nmn L.A., porket may computer k lang sa bahay at net connection eh kung manlait k kala mo kaw n ang pinaka malupit n java guru. pwe!

  9. Rob says:

    I agree. friendster came first. And what is wrong with being stuck with friendster? Americans are stuck with mySpace and they don’t question why are they stuck with myspace. facebook came and took a little share of the market because of their tv infomercials.

    There was an interview before on a Tv show called Convergence (at ch. 25), they were talking about myspace and friendster and most of the interviewees are fil-americans. They keep an account on both sites, friendster for their pinoy friends and myspace for their american friends.

    if not only for google, friendster would be the supreme networking site.

  10. It’s not that we’re stuck with Friendster. Some of us merely experimented and got surprised when we found out that our middle-aged barkada mates also had Friendster accounts.

    “Bakit ka may Friendster?” I asked my kumpare.

    “Yung anak ko kasi, may Friendster…”

    (The new batch of Pinoys trying out social networking sites are now also checking out Facebook.)

  11. Edwin says:

    Its because ITS FRIENDSTER.

    Friendster is cool. I maintain an account there. The reason why pinoys are so addicted of friendster is because of the word of mouth liek oi pre check mo friendster ko ang kulet. Pinoys are actually promoting friendster.

    actually when youre bored at work. You can find yourself staring at somebody’s friendster account. Or probably uploading a picture. Unlike Myspace in the other hand doesnt have a pinoy feel in it. and oh yeah you can never find your former classmates in myspace but you can find him/her in friendster.

    2 things that I’ve learn since I started using the internet since 96. have an email and have a friendster account.

  12. jash says:

    friendster is less “sosyal” ba? it serves it purpose, for me that is. and that’s all that matter.

  13. issai says:

    JC has a point, filipinos are used to staying put. friendster has everything that filipinos need. and also another point is that, you go where your friends are. i’m tired, i hope i’m making sense.

  14. AnitoKid says:

    I believe your reasoning holds true, Yuga. Similar to Yahoo! Although Yahoo comes second to Google, I still see more people use the former instead of the latter. In terms of email, I myself use both Yahoo and Gmail, but to be honest with you, I prefer the user-friendliness of Yahoo (or is it because I’m already too familiar with the Yahoo interface?) Hmmm.
    AnitoKid at http://www.anitokid.blogspot.com

  15. jess says:

    The spirit of Friendster has Filipino spirit in it…

    Its been developed by some Filipino.

    I like Facebook better than Friendster. Friendster is more like Family oriented site. Facebook is more on Career and business.

  16. Eugene says:

    It’s simply because of network effects which a few people have suggested here, though indirectly. There’s no value in signing up for a new social networking site unless your friends are there and potential new contacts are also there.

  17. Jazzy says:

    You’re right on all points Abe.

    Cloning will not go that far. From the beginning, I knew eskwela will not go that far. I have no idea what this cloners are thinking.

  18. vance says:

    there a Filipino version of friendster called oyeye? anyone heard about it. Created as a project for school I think then became popular for some reason.

  19. L.A says:

    Yabang – Masama bang mag sabi nang totoo? Eh kung mang-mang naman talaga sila on other things around the web hindi naman kasi lahat sa web lang ang buhay. Tsaka ano bang mayabang dun? That’s one thing na napansin ko sa from it, am not telling na am the java guru! LOL!

  20. Jeffrey Wong says:

    My main account is Friendster, then followed by Multiply, Eskwela, Myspace etc…

    But i’m starting to like Eskwela if i talk about searching for former classmates, or ex-officemates.

  21. Jay says:

    freakin’ friendster

  22. Friendster works and so I stayed. Why keep moving when my purpose of keeping in touch is served? ;-) Thanks for this post, by the way.

  23. Friendster works and so one stays with what works. :-)
    Thanks for this post.

  24. dwek says:

    For me migrating to another service is remembering another username and password, that’s why I’m wondering why other people has friendster, myspace, facebook etc… One is enough for me

  25. Filipinos are very Loyal, Kung ano ang kinagisnan dun na tayo. :)

  26. AntiVaLeNtiNe says:

    kunwari ka pa L.A…foresure nagrriefriendster ka din…pasosyal effect ka pa…di bagay!!..

  27. INA says:

    tarantado ka talaga LA! hindi friendster ang una mong account! yumabang ka lang kya lumipat ka sa Multiply! BAKLA!

  28. INA says:

    Friendster is having technical issues but still the numero uno and orignal social networking site! easy to use and not a fucking fad just like Myspace and Multiply! FUCK YOU LA

  29. Ricky Mendez says:

    Tinamaan kasi tau sa word na FRIEND ng Friendster…lam u naman tau mga Noypi, medyo senti…

    kaibigan, friend, kapamilya, kapuso, ka-batch, classmate,…makikita mo sa Friendster? makapag-friendster nga…o kaya, yung friend mo tatanungin ka: “Me friendster ka?”, so curios ka, ano yun?

    para sa pinoy, wala arrive yung name na “Myspace”, ano yun? nasa kalawakan ka?

    “Multiply”? ano yun?, math topic? parang kakatakot a.

    FRIEND…STER? bakit hindi..

  30. nikki says:

    kasi nauna na siya..

  31. Facebook and Myspace are more fun than Friendster. I only keep an account because some of my friends are in friendster but I login more to Facebook (because of the cool apps) and Myspace ( I have friends that are bands)

  32. trollnansuweegao says:

    how to teach friendster a lesson
    i will teach you guys how to teach friendster.com a lesson…

    why i do this?
    because friendster starts removing my pics, it posts only white spaces, and also removes my friends pics,…

    friendster uses pay per click advertising with Google, our aim is to tell advertisers not to advertise with friendster… so would probably result to friendster’s fall…

    step 1
    go to friendster.com

    step 2
    click on the advertisement by Google, usually two links at the bottom right… this method might increase friendster’s income temporarily since in every click gives friendster cash…

    step 3
    close the sponsors page after it is open in less than 5seconds… this will send a message to the sponsor’s page a bad Bounce Rate, meaning a bad referrer, meaning friendster is a bad site to advertise… meaning a great loss of cash for advertisers…

    step 4
    refresh friendster.com
    repeat repeat repeat repeat…

    will this work?
    probably, i just thought of this when i first heard of google ads… and hey… it’s worth to try… yes i am confident about this idea!

    will this work on other site?
    yeah! i am not sending a bad method out there,… i am just telling you this so sites may offer quality service!

    PS share this to everyone, this is effective only if a lot of people around the globe, with different IP(internet address) will cooperate

  33. michael says:

    Friendster was not the first social networking. It was the dating services that pioneered the social networking.

    although Friendster did not start the social networking, it was friendster who started the join free social networking concept.

    I know how hard friendster members to go to another site cause it is the site that they no of.

    I know that there are other site which are started by Filipinos. Maybe we should join those instead of friendster but sometimes we support foreigners other than our own kababayan.

    I think we should join the Filipino social networking sites to show our support to our kababayan. I am not saying we need to abandon friendster because even me i won’t abandon friendster.

    Anyway there are filipino social networking sites in the web; http://www.oyaye.com, http://www.x-overprofiles.com to name two but there are more. Joining this sites will help our Kababayan and also will give us a varitey of ways to communicate specially when friendtster is doing their maintenance.

  34. friendster says:

    LA bakLA

  35. friendsterkid says:

    maraming nagfrifriendster kasi nandun lahat ng friends natin e. kung magmove lahat ng friends ko sa multiply at dinelete nila account nila sa friendster, o di lipat na rin ako. siguro si LA walang friend o kaya walang gustong mag-accept sa kanyang friend request. kawawa naman si LA bakLA lol…ULOL!!!!

  36. LA (Lalaking Alanganin) says:

    hoy LA AKA “Lalaking Alanganin” Feeling m0 ang taas ng antas mo gaga ka? eh BAKLA ka naman sumusupsop ng tite ng kapwa bakla hahahaha..ULOL!!!

  37. mAdam says:

    If it ain’t broke, why change it? Even if it is full with Friendster spam, you can still fix it here: http://friendstertips.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/how-to-stop-friendster-spam/

  38. Friendster = fraud

    Dami online gamers trading game items using friendster as means of communication. At dahil direct contact ang mga tao sa friendster na walang security measures regarding these kinds of transaction, dami na scam ng mga nagkalat na online scammers.

    Dapat kasi kung gagamit ng communication network, hindi friendster or any social network na hindi specialized sa online trading. Dun sa isang site na nagsi serve ng security escrow gaya ng Ingamex

  39. Facebook user since 2009 says:

    so after almost 12 years, friendster is just a memory now…. RIP friendster and facebook is still growing and growing…

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