The Story of Friendster Philippines

Friendster Philippines has been in the news a number of times. Despite their problems in the US, and shopping around for a buyer, it still seems to be making waves locally as THE social network. According to some commentators, they shifted their user base to the Philippines and other places when the early US adopters left due to performance problems.

Unfortunately, the number of local users – 5 million? – has not translated into financial success for them. One early move was to go mobile with a SMS version in partnership with local mobile operators and the Entertainment Gateway Group, a content provider.

In early 2005, Friendster made the deal with to put up Friendster Classifieds based on the Pusit platform. They then announced an ad product, but didn’t have a test product for months. It didn’t perform very well and was apparently pulled out.

The Friendster Mobs chat service was announced, was available for a while and then added to the Friendster links without much fanfare.

Then the word spread that something was amiss. The original Friendster Philippines office closing down. Some of the projects like Xackup and Eskwela moved to PiKitchen. So this seems to be – no more Friendster Philippines?

Then this article explained that Friendster Philippines was still running, “under the auspices of the Entertainment Gateway Group Co. (EGG) but report directly to Friendster’s key officials.” The local team head used to be with and he apparently took some people with him.

So where is Friendster Philippines going? Based on the article, is Friendster development now offshored to the Philippines? There were efforts to get official comment form either side but because of NDAs, nobody can get any statement from anyone.

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