The new Friendster was launched on June 28 this year, with a focus on delivering more Asia-centric gaming contents. At the same time, it aims to enable games publishers and developers to tap into the vibrant Asian gaming markets. As part of the relaunch, Friendster unveiled a new logo and moved its business operations from the U.S. to Asia (operates mainly from three Asian countries namely in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore).
Since the relaunch, the pioneering social network Friendster is showing positive signs of rejuvenation. So far, the social network has attracted over half a million new users and now includes over 40 premium games and hundreds of free-to-play games and applications. More interestingly, the relaunch has breathed life into its Monthly Active Users and Daily Active Users, which have increased by 50%, to date. Other interesting latest stats:
- More than 90% of the new users are now based in Asia.
- Nearly half of the new users regularly playing between one to five games in the last 30 days.
- Top 30% of these users typically spend more than 45 mins on Friendster during the last 30 days.
- More than 10% of the users have purchased virtual credits in Friendster to enhance their gaming experiences.
Friendster’s Chief Executive Officer Ganesh Kumar Bangah said: “Social gaming is rapidly gaining momentum in Asia. The early results attest to the fact that social gaming is proving to be creating deeper engagements and interactions for these young Asian users.”
The Road Ahead
Bangah further explained that the service continues to be developed and additional features are regularly being added in. Friendster has already added in Facebook Connect, which allows users to login to Friendster using their Facebook accounts. Last week, the new site allow users to select Simplified Chinese as their main interface. Popular gaming features such as chat and forums are expected to be introduced in the coming weeks. Though social games are free to play on the social network, exclusive in-game items can to be purchased via Friendster’s virtual currency, Friendster Coins.
In addition, Friendster has also introduced a free wireless Internet services (WiFi hotspots) at popular outlets such as Starbucks and Papa John’s Pizza across Malaysia.
Judging from the impressive uptake of Google+, the traction Friendster is getting the Asian region and the rapid growth of social entertainment site IMVU (just to name a few), there are still vast opportunities for new, innovative breeds of social networks to thrive in today’s Age of Facebook. Many new ones like Unthink and Lift are gearing up to enter the social networking space with their innovations. Collectively, these players may well shape the future of social networking in the post-Facebook era.