Friendster Reinvents Itself as Social Gaming Site
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
April 25 2012 05:29 PM ET
Friendster officially announced today (April 25) that it has reinvented itself as a social gaming hub.
Don't remember Friendster? Launched in 2002, it was one of the first social networks, only to be quickly overshadowed by MySpace and then Facebook. However, what became just a blip in U.S. social media history is Southeast Asia's largest online community, according to its owners.
Friendster's transformation began last June, when it advised its members to remove all their photos and other data from the site. Now it's all games all the time, played almost exclusively by members in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. Since Friendster became a casual gaming site, the number of monthly users has increased 50 percent, CEO Ganesh Kumar Bangah said in a statement.
Today's Friendster members use avatars instead of their own photos, choose from more than 50 online games, chat while playing and buy Friendster's new virtual currency for in-game purchases. Boomz is listed as the most popular game, with more than 200,000 players.
By comparison, Facebook's top social games list around 40 million players apiece.
To celebrate its official launch, Friendster will host a game event Friday (April 27) at a Philippines' info-technology shopping mall, SM North Cyberzone.