Friendster Mobilizes

Friendster might have taken some hits over the years, but the social network recently raised a new round of funding and has become surprisingly popular in the Philippines. Given that Filipino mobile users are some of the most avid text messagers in the world, it’s a happy accident for Friendster that it is also starting to see some popularity with its early mobile service.

Friendster’s President Kent Lindstrom says Friendster’s text-message system in the Philippines already has 50,000 subscribers and the company has a beta web-to-SMS chat system, called MOBS, for Mobile Broadcast System, that will extend Friendster Mobile further in that country.

That’s still a small population compared to its online component, but mobile social networks are more easily monetized in the Philippines compared to other markets, says Lindstrom. Not so in the U.S., Europe and Canada, says Lindstrom, who says the company will only tackle these new markets through a partnership with a mobile company. Mobile isn’t exactly our forte, says Lindstrom, here we need a strong partner. Lindstrom says Friendster is starting the early phases of talks with companies that can help it mobilize on its home turf.

You hear that Valley mobile startups? If you’re working on mobile social networks you know who to call. (If you haven’t already.)


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