Post about "Social Networking"

Friendster – Paving The Way for Today’s Social Networks

Friendster was one of the first social networking sites to have been formed. It was founded in California by computer programmers Jonathan Abrams & Cris Emmanuel in 2002. Currently, the Friendster head offices are based in Australia.Since forming Friendster, Jonathan Abrams and has started another website, called Socializr. This network allows users to invite others to events, to plan events online, to see what each other are up to, which events, parties & social gatherings they are attending etc. Keeping with the social aspect of life, Abrams also opened up a popular bar in San Francisco named Slide.Friendster experienced popularity early into it’s inception; approximately 1 year after it was launched, Friendster had over 3 million users. In 2009, it was reported to have reached 115 million users.Friendster followed the approach that Sixdegrees took with the concept of “six degrees of separation”. Friendster simplified the concept into something which was eventually dubbed the “Circle of Friends”. The Circle of Friends displayed the intricate pathways which connected 2 different people online. Friendster emphasized the fact that genuine friendships could be established between people on social networks and that there were many ways to form such bonds online.Abrams described Friendster as a “dating site that isn’t about dating”. Many people used Friendster as a way to meet new people online, to form new friendships, as well as an online dating platform. Friendster certainly did not mirror many of the seedy dating sites available at the time, but rather focused on giving their members an opportunity to meet others in such a way that they could form deeper, more meaningful relationships with each other online.Friendster still offers their members many ways in which to connect with their long-lost friends & family, old schoolmates & business colleagues. When Friendster first entered the online social scene, it offered services which were very similar to other social networking sites, such as email and blogging. The ability to interact with each other on the basis of shared hobbies & interests, as well as the posting of video & music was not anything new. However, Friendster differentiated itself by providing services which were of a higher quality than other social networking sites, as well giving their users a safe, spam free experience.In 2006, Friendster was given the patent of the year award, for their method of calculating & displaying relationships within an online social network. In fact, Friendster has held many online social networking patents which have opened the way for many other similar sites.Just in August 2010, Facebook confirmed that it had acquired 18 of Friendster’s patents. Some of these patents include:System, method and apparatus for connecting users in an online computer
Method of Inducing Content Uploads in a Social Network
System and Method for Managing Connections in an Online Social Network
Compatibility Scoring of Users in a Social Network
Method for sharing relationship information stored in a social networkDespite it’s early success Friendster did not maintain it’s popularity & failed to achieve the kind of success that Facebook has enjoyed. The following reasons could be attributed to this:Users frequently complained of site load time delays & outages while being on the site
Users also found that there was little to keep them entertained while using Friendster. Once a user had built a personal profile & social network, there was not much else to do on Friendster except keep inviting others to join Friendster.
Due to technical difficulties with the site, as well as bad management decisions, Friendster lost much of it’s North American support, but remains popular in Asia & the Philippines.
In 2003, Google made an offer to buy Friendster, however, Friendster declined this offer. Today, many consider this decision as one of Friendsters biggest financial mistakes. Friendster then borrowed money from investors & is currently still running at a loss.
2 years after it’s birth, Friendster was overshadowed by startups like Facebook & MySpace.
Given the fact that users were tired of the site’s technical difficulties, as well as it’s ability to entertain, Friendster users were only too ready to try alternative social networking platforms.Friendster has certainly not achieved support in the same way that Facebook has, however, it certainly has kept it’s head above water. Friendster has received numerous awards, the latest being a recognition by Lead411 as one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies. Friendster is still widely used in Asia & is one of the most popular social networks in the Philippines.Friendster broke new ground for online social networking and it is from this site that MySpace, LinkedIn & Facebook derived most of their inspiration.