Saturday, December 12, 2009

MOL Global buys Friendster

The purchase of Friendster by Malaysia-based MOL Global is a hot topic in this country.

MOL Global is controlled by Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan. Tan is a shrewd businessman who made headlines many years ago for winning a libel suit. His Berjaya Group conglomerate has interests in property, gaming, leisure and finance industries. However, not all of his ventures were successful. His pay TV business, MiTV, has failed to challenge the incumbent Astro.

As we know, Friendster is the granddaddy of social networking sites. In the last couple of year, however, it has been eclipsed by MySpace and Facebook. Can MOL Global revive Friendster?

Now, if all your friends are on Facebook, do you still bother to join Friendster? (Or, if you joined Friendster ages ago, do you still bother to log in?) Social networking sites are such services that ‘the more people using them, the more useful they become’. If Friendster were to ‘dethrone’ Facebook – to quote a phrase by Tekkaus – it can’t just imitate the latter. It has to be different.

According to report, 90 percent of Friendster’s traffic comes from Asia. One thing the social networking site can do is to offer location-specific services. Perhaps it can organize gatherings for its members. Perhaps it can do match-making.

On the other hand, Facebook’s strength may turn out to be its weakness. It’s too ‘general purpose’. Facebook’s early members were college students. Today even uncles and aunties have jumped on the bandwagon. It has lost its ‘exclusiveness’, and cool factor.

If you login to Facebook, you get all sorts of updates, requests and invitations. You’ll read, for example, that Tom has got a new friend whom you never know; Dick is tagged in a photo; and Jerry is playing an online game. Can we have a social networking site which really helps us to connect with our friends, without all the bells and whistles?

Friendster may be able to capitalize on Facebook’s weaknesses. In any case, it is an uphill struggle. Good luck, Tan Sri.


Tan Sri is a title.


  1. I'm pretty proud to know that Malaysia owns Friendster now. ^_^

    But fighting Facebook will be an uphill task.

    Personally I'm not a big fan of Facebook, the excessive invites for games and quizzes are killing me.

  2. They need a new strategy to put Friendster back to its former glory. I'm sure they have a concrete plan to move forward to get their current registered users coming back.

    I agree FB is so cluttered now.

  3. I've long ditched Friendster. And it's not like I login often when Facebook still doesn't exist in my world. I just don't quite like Friendster.

  4. hmmm... i have a Friendster a/c but now it's full of Spider web. I'm no longer active in Friendster ... has switched my operation @ Facebook... How about you? Dude, do you have a Friendster a/c?

  5. shingo
    Yes, I also find FB's invites irritating.

    Let's see what is in Vincent Tan's mind.

    Welcome back!

    Let's see...

    No, I don't have a Friendster account.

  6. I don't recall I have a Friendster account and may never create a new account again... even on FB I am not so active.

  7. this is big news alrite. it makes malaysia proud in a way. but will be more proud if we can make friendster the in-thing again... and to have a wider reach :)

  8. friendster? it's history to me. FB rox! :)

  9. I have blogged about it too. Let's see how MOL will use Friendster and vice versa. :)

  10. hot-screensaver
    I am also not active on FB.

    I am afraid it's not easy to revive Friendster.

    FB is no longer hip. As I mentioned in the post, even uncles and aunties are FB members.

    Haha... actually it's your post which inspired me.

  11. is this a good thing or a bad thing ?

  12. Friendster? I just don't like it! I think it's way past its time. It's Facebook now : )

  13. I have never used Frienster before. At least I tried Facebook. Hopefully, something great happens after a rewhamp.

  14. 迷迭香
    Possibly not a good thing, hehe...

    Wow! You only signed up FB recently, and now it's a fan!

    Autumn Belle
    Let's see...