Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What Happened to MySpace, Friendster and Other Social Networking Sites?




Have you ever wondered what happened to these sites? I am not alone thinking about that. Before Facebook came in the cyber world, I am an avid fan and user of Friendster and Hi5. These two sites were very popular then besides MySpace and I enjoyed using it in every day of my life just to browse what is new, who viewed my profile, who are new and what others are posting in their own walls.

What is MySpace then? It is a social entertainment destination powered by the passion of fans. Music, movies, celebs, TV, and games made social. Let us take a glimpse of what is MySpace according to Wikipedia.

Myspace (stylized as My_____ and previously MySpace) is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors.

In July 2005, News Corporation acquired Myspace and its parent company Intermix Media for $580 million. From 2005 until early 2008, Myspace was the most visited social networking site in the world, and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. In April 2008, Myspace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors, and was surpassed in the number of unique U.S. visitors in May 2009. Since then, the number of Myspace users has declined steadily in spite of several redesigns. As of October 2011, Myspace was ranked 103rd by total web traffic.

In June 2009, Myspace employed approximately 1,600 workers. Since then the company has undergone several rounds of layoffs and by June 2011, Myspace had reduced its staff to around 200.

On June 29, 2011, Myspace was sold to Specific Media and Justin Timberlake for approximately $35 million.


How about Friendster? Let us check it again from Wikipedia.

Friendster is a social gaming site focused on gaming and music based in Mountain View, California. It was previously known as a social networking website. Before the site was redesigned, the service allowed users to contact other members, maintain those contacts, and share online content and media with those contacts. The website was also used for dating and discovering new events, bands, and hobbies. Users could share videos, photos, messages and comments with other members via their profile and their network. It was considered one of the original and even the "grandaddy" of social networks. The service became popular in Southeast Asia and is a major site in that region of the world.

In May of 2011, the company repositioned itself into a social gaming site and discontinued user social network accounts. But Friendster accounts will not be deleted and users can still log in using their existing e-mail login and password. They also stated that contact list (or friendlist) will be preserved along with user's basic information. Friendster said that in the new and improved website, the focus will be on pure "entertainment and fun", and aims not to compete, but rather to complement Facebook.

Friendster had over 8.2 million registered users and over 1 million unique visitors a month globally; however since it deleted all content and became a gaming site, that number has dropped to 1.2 million registered users.

Over 90% of Friendster's traffic came from Asia. In Asia, as of 2008, Friendster had more monthly unique visitors than any other social network. The top 10 countries accessing Friendster, according to Alexa, as of May 7, 2009 are the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, South Korea, Bangladesh and India.

 

Lastly, let us take an overview about hi5. According to Wikipedia, hi5 is a social networking website based in San Francisco, California. The company was founded in 2003 by Ramu Yalamanchi. By 2008, comScore reported that hi5 had become the third most popular social networking site in terms of monthly unique visitors.

Bill Gossman was appointed CEO in April 2009, and since that time, hi5 has refocused itself as a social gaming platform and opened itself to new game developers. Gaming industry veteran Alex St. John joined the company as President and CTO in November 2009, and in early 2010, hi5 acquired social gaming company Big Six. The company raised $20 million in series A venture capital from Mohr Davidow Ventures, as well as $15 million in venture debt, in 2007, and announced it had raised $3 million convertible note from existing investor Mohr Davidow, bringing the funding up to $38 million. Quantcast reports hi5 has 2.7 million monthly US visitors and 46.1 million global visitors. Software-industry veteran Karen Richardson has served as chairwoman of the company's board since 2008.

I finally got the answer to my question and hope this give others some idea about the plight of the once famous social networking sites. 

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