As sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Foursquare make a play for ad-based sustainability, it can be easy to forget about the networks that came before. Here’s a look at the rise, fall and return of some of the early social networks.
When you said were BFFs with these social networks, you lied. This infographic shows 10 sites that came and went as Facebook captured the general audience and new sites popped up to take their places.
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Facebook Rolls Out Real-Time Ad Platform (The Financial Times)
The platform is going into action this time using the tagline “living the game” and features several dozen games. Games that include a single-player, multiplayer and, kicking it up a notch or two, flashed-based MMOs. The new game site even offers an API that allows developers to bring their web games over to the network. That means more fun for everyone!
In the present, it appears Friendster is changing its format and foregoing the idea of sharing with friends. In a message to registered members, the company is asking all users to install a custom application to export all their profile data, as most of it will be definitely deleted on May 31, 2011. So, mark your calendars with a big red circle, so you don’t lose your profile data.
Mary Specht is an information architect in San Francisco. You can follow her on Twitter.
Where can you not buy a virtual teddy bear these days? Now Friendster’s hawking pixels, too. Friendster says selling virtual gifts, goods and games is a “proven” revenue model in Asia, where 90% of their audience lives. For China’s part, online gaming revenue grew nearly 40% in the second quarter of this year to $906 million, according to CNET. Recession? What recession?
If you think your special brand of virtual ice cream, squirrel, martini, or teddy bear topped with shiny crown and clutching bright red balloons — how’s that for value added? — would tempt users to open their “Friendster Wallets,” hang tight for their third party payments API.
Friendster has opened up some new offices in Asia, which makes sense seeing as the social network has a stronghold in the Asian countries–not the U.S. The company made a series of announcements this week regarding changes being made to Friendster, including new executives that have been brought on board, and a number of new partnerships aimed at further developing Friendster’s dominance in the Asia Pacific.
New office locations include Singapore and Sydney, Australia, which is where Friendster’s CEO Richard Kimber will be based along with the new hires for marketing and business development. Given its proximity to the Asia Pacific, it’s not entirely surprising to see Friendster establish central executives in Australia. The U.S. global headquarters, however, are now in Mountain View, CA, where some executives and cross-department employees will remain. Looking towards the rest of the year, Friendster has made it quite clear that it will be focusing a great deal of attention on the Asia offices, where at least 80% of the company’s new hires will be based.
After three patents relating to social networking, Friendster is at it again. The fourth patent for Friendster, called “Compatibility Scoring of Users in a Social Network,” seemingly pertains to matching users within the Friendster network for various purposes.
So far, Friendster is being pretty tight-lipped about its intended use of its new patent, and there’s only so much we can conjecture based on the patent’s name and the brief description of “scoring the compatibility between two members of a social network based on their interests and scoring the correlation between two interests for a given member of a social network.”
In a move signifying the influence of the Facebook platform in the social web, Friendster has announced that it has deployed supporter for the Facebook platform. Developers can now choose between the Facebook Platform, OpenSocial, or Friendster’s API to launch applications on the platform. Whether or not Facebook developers will actually choose to launch on Friendster is unknown but it just became a whole lot easier.
This appears to be the first use of Facebook’s open-source platform offering that they released earlier this year. It appears that launching your Facebook application will be as simple as requesting a new API Key from Friendster. Developers can learn more by visiting http://www.friendster.com/developer. This is a big win for Facebook who has decided to avoid the OpenSocial standard for the time being, instead choosing to focus on expanding their existing platform offerings.
In addition to choosing not to use OpenSocial, Facebook has decided to launch Facebook Connect instead of partnering with Google on their Friend Connect product. While none of the distributed login services offered by any of the platforms have been successful at spreading, Facebook and Google have been extremely slow in rolling out their new services.
While Bebo was the first to implement Facebook standards for applications, Friendster is the first to release Facebook support using their open-source platform. It will be interesting to see if the trend continues to other social networks. This is a big announcement for both Friendster and Facebook.
Today, Friendster announced that they have deployed OpenSocial version 0.7 for their platform. In the coming months, the company will begin rolling out version 0.8, the version that MySpace announced support for in the past couple weeks. The most significant part of this announcement is that now developers that have build applications on other social platforms supporting OpenSocial will be able to make the accessible via Friendster much quicker.
In contrast to Facebook’s 30,000 plus applications, Friendster has only 569 applications. That’s not to suggest that the applications are not being used though. According to Friendster’s own statistics, “over 10 million unique users have added ‘apps’” since the launch of the platform last year. While less significant than some of the larger platforms, this is still a substantial number.
Monetization will continue to be a challenging issue for Friendster though given that their primary demographic is southeast Asia and the majority of advertising dollars are spent domestically. Whether or not the company is generating substantial revenue, the company has been able to expand its reach in Asia where the competition continues to heat up.
This is the first news to come out of the company since they announced a new CEO and $20 million in funding.