Remember Friendster? It was one of the very first social networking sites. It was new. It was popular. It had friends. It had investors. Google even offered to buy it for $30 million.
But that was back in 2003, eons ago in social networking time, an era when the first of such sites appeared on the Internet. But newer, younger, friendlier rivals like Facebook have eclipsed it. In fact, in our recent survey examining engagement and loyalty to social networking sites, the rankings are as follows:
“Where’s Friendster?” you ask. Well, not enough people mentioned using site to include it in the study. And, no, it isn’t dead – although surveys notwithstanding, when’s the last time you actually heard anyone utter the phrase “Friendster, me”? And although there aren’t a whole lot of users anymore, it isn’t closing down.
No, the site is changing its strategy. It announced this week that they’ll be erasing all the remaining photos, blogs, and testimonials (remember “testimonials”?) and will be reinventing itself as a music and games site. As of the end of next month all that will be left of the original site will be basic profiles and friend lists, i.e., an outdated list of people you currently friend on Facebook. To add real insult to virtual injury, they’ll be using Facebook Connect.
There’s a Russian proverb that goes “true friendship comes when silence between people is comfortable.” The same, alas, is apparently not true when it comes to social networking sites.