Friendster was the social media giant. Before you even start throwing fits at this article, know that piece?s purpose is not to bash Friendster, as we?ve all been there and enjoyed the site?s services, despite a huge number of drawbacks. This is simply a speculation, a theory, about how Friendster lost its track, and inevitably, lost the social media war with Facebook.
Friendster was founded by Jonathan Abrams back in 2002, and it was pretty much the FIRST social networking service site, that many websites used a role model, including the most recent ones like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. It was the first to let people keep contacts of their families and friends, share online content, discover new people and bands.
If things were a bit smoother, Jonathan Abrams could have been easily the guy we?re looking up to, and hardly Zuckerberg. Just like any other social media sites (or any community-based web site for this matter), Friendster had its fair share of problems, particularly with spammers, but that was the least of their worries at the time.
In the span of two years, ?copy-cats? have surfaced, trying to outsell Friendster?s popularity. 2003 was MySpace?s year, while 2004 was Facebook?s. MySpace wasn?t that much of a competition, as Friendster?s popularity didn?t decrease that much and MySpace?s interface wasn?t as ?flexible? as Friendster was back in the time. Friendster kept a steady pace even with the competition was fierce. Even Google tried to buy Friendster for $30 million, but things became a bit hairy.
It experienced technical problems that the investors for Friendster overlooked. People can hardly log in for 2 years, and that?s enough time to let other startups hog all the action. Another fact is that, even before there was ?News Feed?, like what we have now with Facebook, Abrams already had this idea as ?Friendster College?. That was before Facebook was picking up the pace, but as you can tell by now, they didn?t do it, or was not able to, for some reason.
Being practically dead for two years as Masahable quoted Abrams’ statement, Friendster required some major overhauls, but what happened is, in 2006, where Friendster was getting a stable online presence once again, a lot of connections between users were mostly severed according to “Internet Archeologists” mentioned in Wired‘s report. Imagine losing all those hardly earned ?fans?, ?followers? or ?friends?. Getting used to the new interface wouldn?t be worth it. This is what seriously hit Friendster hard. Despite changing into a social gaming site, which is only that popular in the Asia, it was never back into its old glory. Right now, Friendster is in 26,629th place for being a popular site according to Alexa, while Facebook is the 2nd most popular site, which is next to Google.com and goes before YouTube.com