Thursday, March 5, 2009

Friendster is not a zombie

But as seen in those weird transmissions to my inbox, Friendster does still exist. Despite the fact that Friendster trails Facebook, MySpace, and numerous other social-networking sites in the American market, the company continues to raise venture capital at an impressive clip, including a $20 million infusion last summer. Why are people still dumping cash into what looks like a social-networking graveyard? Because real human beings—plenty of them, actually—still log on to Friendster. It's just that now they're all logging on from Asia.

According to comScore, Friendster had roughly 30 million unique visitors in December 2008. More than 28 million of those visitors came from Asia. Friendster's internal tracking suggests that the comScore tally—which doesn't include visits from Internet cafes—actually understates the site's traffic. If so, that would make Friendster roughly as popular in Asia as Facebook and MySpace combined. And Friendster's users spend more time on the site, on average, than users of any other social-networking site.
--David Roth, Slate, on why Friendster is not as dead as it seems in the U.S.

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