Friendster Relaunches With Focus On Social Gaming
Social networking site Friendster has completed a long-promised relaunch
focusing on social games.
The newly relaunched site, with the tagline "living the game," currently features a few dozen games primarily casual games, spanning single-player, multiplayer and even Flash-based MMOs. The site also offers an API
allowing developers to bring their web games over to the network.
Users can use an existing Friendster accounts to log in and connect with friends, but previous site features like photo sharing and blogs have been removed. Users can also log in with Facebook Connect and invite friends automatically from contact lists on networks including AOL, Gmail and Yahoo.
Launched in 2002 as one of the first online social networks, Friendster grew to include a reported 115 million users by 2008, primarily centered in Southeast Asia. The site was purchased by Asian internet payment giant MOL Global in late 2009, and has since dropped to just 5.5 million unique visitors, as measured in May.
News of the relaunch comes as MySpace, another former leader in the social networking and gaming spaces, was sold to ad network Specific Media for $35 million
, well below previous valuations that topped $1 billion.