Before Facebook  and MySpace the world had Friendster.

Originally set up as a social network site in 2002, Friendster was arguably an earlier model of the Facebook we see today. At one point the site had the largest number of account holders in thew world but in recent years the site’s popularity in the western world has dwindled. Despite remaining extremely popular in Asia, the site’s owners agreed to change the format of the site so that it could continue to prosper.

The Friendster we see today is now considered as a social entertainment site which aims to live side by side the likes of Facebook and MySpace.

The layout seems very similar to twitter, with users encouraged to make new friends and to discuss the various different computer games they play, and talk about their music interests. With a change in concept, Friendster has witnessed an increase of 50%, so it would appear the creators gamble has worked for the better.

Arguably, the increased amount of users is due to the gaming system that exists on the site. Once again like Facebook, the system gives site users credits from which they can buy the premium games which are available from the site. It seems as though the user’s are able to purchase credits, rather than just earning them, meaning the site is also bringing in money to keep it running.

So it would seem the new format has been a huge success for the owners however, it looks like Facebook could once again prevent Friendster from obtaining global appeal. The highly publicised changes to Facebook include a link up to Spotify allowing users to discuss  their relevent music interests leaving Friendster useless to those already on Facebook. Where does this leave Friendster? The site will probably remain as it has been for the past decade, on the verge of becoming one of the biggest social media sites in the world, yet still popular in Asia.

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