I joined Friendster back in June of 2003 and at that time, it wasn’t popular yet in the Philippines. I didn’t know anyone there except for my friend Hunny who invited me to join Friendster. My account is still active, but I no longer use Friendster and haven’t logged in to my account in a long time. Friendster remains to be a top player in the social networking market in Asia, especially in Southeast-Asia. Although most of them are now on Facebook, some of my friends from the Philippines and Indonesia continue to use Friendster or prefer to use it rather than Facebook.
Anyways, I got an email today from Friendster containing the official press release about Friendster launching games and music portals in Asia. They have a long ways to go to catch up or get close to Facebook and other social networking giants but since they have a strong presence in Asia and music and social gaming (especially MMO games) being very popular in that region, I think that this is the right move to make towards getting a bigger bite from the social networking market in Asia.
Here’s the official Press Release that Friendster sent me.
FRIENDSTER TO LAUNCH MUSIC AND GAMES PORTALS IN ASIA
SINGAPORE, 23 September, 2010 — Friendster, a leading social networking site for young Asians, today announced that it is launching social media portals for music and social gaming fans in Asia.
The portals are the latest ventures from Friendster which was acquired in December last year by MOL Global (www.molglobal.net), one of Asia’s leading online payment companies.
“As a social networking site, Friendster has tremendous experience to make the Friendster Music and Friendster Games as socially connected portals for developers, artists and their fans. Friendster has a strong physical presence in Asia and now that it is part of MOL Global, we see huge opportunities to partner with developers and independent musicians to aid them in new ways of delivering and monetising their content to their fans,” said Ganesh Kumar Bangah, Friendster’s CEO and Group CEO for MOL Global.
Friendster Music (music.friendster.com) looks to champion independent music from around the region, aiding the discovery of new music and catered towards the Asian consumer by providing content and information that are useful and relevant to this region. The music portal provides the latest information on music news, updates and concerts happening around the region, featuring new music from independent artists as well as running online contests for free giveaways of merchandise, concert tickets and more.
Friendster Music will also feature artist profiles of up-and-coming, as well as established, artists from around the region and allow these artists to build their own communities. Plans are underway to feature music blogs and reviews as well as ringtone downloads and Friendster is already in discussion with several record labels to feature their content on the portal.
Currently Friendster Music is available in beta stage only for Malaysia. However, with the aim to become a regional platform for music, there are plans to launch in Philippines and Singapore in the coming months.
In Philippines, Friendster is already planning a series of on-the-ground events across the country in the next few months that will prominently feature some of the local independent artists building communities to support the upcoming launch of the portal in the country.
As social games become increasingly popular among online users, Friendster recently launched a new gaming portal. Friendster Games (friendster.com/games) is designed to deliver easier-to-access, entertaining, locally flavoured and highly immersive MMO (massively multiplayer online) web games to Friendster users. Currently, the portal features new games such as BoomZ, War2, 3Kingdom, Sushido and Lady Popular played right within the browser.
Friendster is currently building partnerships with content developers, driving marketing activities of the portal across Asia and leveraging on MOL’s strong distribution channels and monetization services.
Intended as a beta service, the new music and games portals will pave the way for social gaming and virtual goods to be the central part of Friendster’s future.
The new portals are complemented by various online and on-the-ground activities in the region such as the recent successful official profile launch of Philippines’ radio personality Mr. FU (http://profiles.friendster.com/dearmrfu) which has reignited interest among users on Friendster.
“Friendster is a brand that is close to the hearts of many Filipinos around the world. The on-line love show through my Friendster profile has provided another venue for my fans to connect with me and share their love problems,” said Mr Fu. “I am happy that a global brand such as Friendster can remain true to the needs of so many people.”
Friendster also announced that MOL Internet cafÃ© which is already highly popular for its gaming customers in Malaysia has now been renamed to Friendster iCafe. The iCafe, located on the 9th floor of Malaysia’s Berjaya Times Square mall and equipped with 80 high performance PCs, has started to run promotions of Friendster Games.
Anyone here using Friendster? What do you think of it’s upcoming music and social gaming portals? Do you think it will click and be successful or will it be a flop? Please share your thoughts.