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Summary:

Social network Friendster put itself on the block this summer, and now it appears that the company could be sold by the end of December. CEO…

Friendster
photo: Flickr / enda_001

Social network Friendster put itself on the block this summer, and now it appears that the company could be sold by the end of December. CEO Richard Kimber told Reuters the company was currently negotiating with a “shortlist” of potential buyers, but a source told the pub that the deal is almost done.

*Reuters* pegs the sale price as “more than $100 million”, which sounds extremely high considering the company’s fortunes over the years. No specifics on the suitor, other than the fact that it will be an Asian company — since that’s where Friendster still has an avid user base — and the company spent money staffing up offices in Singapore and Sydney earlier this year. Chinese digital media company Tencent (owned by South African Media giant Naspers, which in turn owns a bunch of communication and IM platforms in Asia and eastern Europe) and Facebook were cited as interested parties early on. Rafat adds: Some of the names floated on the PE side included Softbank, and Oak Pacific (heavily invested in China).

  1. Wow, that's a pretty good exit considering all the turmoil at friendster. However, it is still disheartening that blackplanet.com/asianave.com is not given more credit for being one of the first "modern" social networks. As opposed to the original geocities, sixdegrees and collegeclub.

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  2. You left out interesting nuggets of information about Frindster and its 's future plans. According to TechCrunch:

    The company "is looking to expand its current revenue streams to include—besides online advertising—virtual goods, gaming, surveys, dating, music and classifieds." Or in other words: paid services.

    Why are you so obtuse when it comes to acknowledging that the old ad-supported model is not enough any longer, and that the Internet future is in the paid services? You try to ignore the shift, suppress all info about the booming "for fee" services, even publish completely misguided pseudo-surveys (the infamous PCUK/Harris Poll) … Are you a communist or something?

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  3. US$100M for a business which is basically in decline? This sounds like some pretty good PR as they try to rush suitors into shooting their load too early.

    Alexa is not particularly accurate, but I think we can all spot a certain trend here.
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/friendster.com

    And let us cut the “Asia” crap, leading ignorant investors to think they’re buying into a 3 billion person market.

    Friendster has one key market – the Philippines. (Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia are its secondary markets and even there, users are migrating to Facebook. And any traffic from Korea, UAE, Kuwait, Canada, etc correlates with the overseas-Philippine community).

    Nothing wrong with buying the Philippine community. But just be sure you know what you’re buying before you splurge US$100m.

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