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Digital Circles

by Rika Nathania

The Fall of Friendster, a Social Network Pioneer

By 7:09 AM , , , , ,

If you are active in social media since long time ago, you must have heard of Friendster.
In 2002, Friendster was launched, before Myspace, Facebook, and other social networking sites. Just after its release, this site was a top social media and was adopted by 3 million users within the first few months. However, few years later most people left Friendster and move to Facebook.

Back in 2003, Google wanted to buy Friendster for $30 million. However, MOL (Malaysian company) bought Friendster for $39.5 million, which later Facebook bought Friendster's patent on 2010.
After that, on 2006 it was pretty much dead in the U.S. Finally, on 2011 the company crushed the website and redesign it to a gaming website. Their new focus would be for entertainment and fun, and not competing with Facebook.

What are the factors which caused this downturn?

1. competition
Even though this challenge always faced by every business, but according to Abrams (founder of friendster), when friendster almost reached two years old, there were some copycat site of Friendster. Further, few social networking sites were developed, such as Myspace (late 2003). However, the main problem is that the firm's inability to grow as fast as the competitors.

2. Technology problems
It was one of the biggest problem in the downturn. There were times when users can't log into their account, so they started to search and move on other social network, such as MySpace. Since there were problems with users' account, and Friendster were having difficulty in solving this problem quickly, many users were leaving the platform.

3. Low level of social influence
On 2009, it was recorded that the registered users were 10 million. However, the users were not connected to their friends. Therefore, it affect Friendster to think of new solution in engaging more people using their website. It is because, strong networks are mode from strongly linked people.


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