Whatever Happened to Friendster
“Pahingi ng testi.”—These words used to be popular among individuals of my generation when I was still in the latter part of my primary education. Testi, short for testimonial, is only one of the star features of the social networking giant named Friendster before it was dethroned some time during the pre-2010s by Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild, Facebook. And while most of us made the switch, I find it curious to ask, “What the heck happened to Friendster?!”
In a retrospect, the history of Friendster began with its founding in 2002 by Jonathan Brahams, an American computer programmer. It quickly became popular among the netizens during the early launch, gaining a staggering ~3 million during the first few months. Via Carmen Leilani De Jesus, a Fil-Am marketing consultant and hypnotist, Friendster was then introduced to the Filipino community. By 2004, the social network—although gradually losing its American users—was already gaining more followers from Southeast Asia, thanks to the millions of Filipino who saw its potential. Friendster continued to prevail in the Philippines as the social network, making the country one of the top 15 countries accessing the site by the 3rd quarter of 2008. It was only during the arrival of year 2010 when Juan Dela Cruz slowly let loose of its hold to his Friendster Nation title for a more social Facebook.
Going back to the question I have, Friendster is now more of an entertainment site and less of a social networking site. Aside from the logo change, the site is now home to a number of web-based games—realigning its focus from allowing the users to connect to other accounts via profiles into social gaming. Now a social entertainment site, Friendster finally let go of its competition with Facebook. In fact, the current login page of the site even allows users to sign up using their Facebook account. Furthermore, the management even said that it now...
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