Friendster Expands In RP
Friendster is the largest social networking (SN) site in the Philippines. I even remember having it as the browser’s homepage in our café stations then. It was so popular with our customers, it was the first site they visit when they sit in any of our workstations. I often heard them comparing the number of friends they have and requesting one another to invite each other. Such was the popularity of Friendster when it started in 2002 and had since expanded to some sixty million members worldwide today.
The social networking website which reportedly attracts 16 billion page views a month, plans to make the Philippines its global marketing hub as part of its expansion in Asia. The decision is “a big milestone in our development as a company,” Richard Kimber, CEO of the popular social networking website told GMANews.TV. Kimber and other Friendster executives were in Manila to incorporate the company’s local unit Friendster Philippines, Inc. last May 11.
In its expansion, the Philippine unit of Friendster will be move to its new offices along Ayala Avenue in Makati. The company intends to hire additional people to supplement the 61 employees they already have. Friendster has a bigger user base in Asia and the Philippines than in the US so the company’s plan to make RP its global marketing hub is just logical. Besides the Philippines, Friendster is also popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Also in Friendster’s expansion are plans to harmonize its local content to make them more relevant and fun. The company is currently considering music and television as part of its main content areas. Moreover, the Philippine unit will also partner with local game developers. Friendster is popularly used for photo uploads and social shout outs.
So how will these plans of Friendster affect the café industry? Undeniably, the site is the most popular among the SN customers of a café so you should expect more and more of them to use Friendster. The additions of music, television and games could invite more people to use the site and it would only mean more bandwidth demand. As it is now, I often read in forums how café owners would want to limit bandwidth of Friendster users because it affects their gaming customers. Expect more of these issues to come as Friendster pursue its expansion.
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