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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Friendster hunting for a new owner

We've all seen this happen before. In Friendster's case, it was just a matter of time. Of course, we also remember the time when the original form of this social networking service was offered $30 million for a buyout. The offer was turned down. The company sought to increase its user base (incidentally they found home in the Asia Pacific region). We all know the story. Only that now, Friendster is looking for someone who will buy the company and hopefully save themselves one big losing whoop. in its usual way leaked out screenshots of several pages of an alleged document showing what the Friendster team is trying to market through Morgan Stanley's brokering efforts.

Supposedly, the old timer social network could be worth $210 million when compared to Facebook's $10 billion valuation. Now, a lot of folks disagree with these numbers, but still the most conservative figures are significant. The question now is how much Friendster might go out for.

A lot of Asians still use it of course, no matter what the Northern Hemisphere says. People do use the network. But for how long are they going to stay there. I can give critics this much: what Friendster claims to be their tremendous user base is not the same with actual people using the site. I personally know so many FS fanatics who've given up their accounts for either Facebook or nothing at all.

The turn of events when Friendster began its Asian decline, I think, was when the company sought to monetize the whole thing from the home page to shoutouts, galleries to comments. I mean, every step of the way you get not just ads and popups, but layers and layers of ads and popups. Add that to the site's poor handling of javascript and flash. Friendster applications are simply clogged up with trash and junk.

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