My Social Media Experience: Friendster Already Losing Friends By The Time I Got In


Before Facebook, there was Friendster.

Author’s note: Can’t get enough of the phenomenon called “social networking”, I decided to write thoroughly about it. From getting stupid with it to flirting with other sites to understanding social networking fully, I will write a few posts about my experiences with some social media websites. This post is about my short affair with Friendster. 

During my college days, I never had the interest in Friendster, the no. 1 social networking site of the day. Many of my classmates and schoolmates were hooked into the thing, spending a great deal of their time inside the school and town’s only Internet shop. (The speed was sluggish then and the monitors are like TV sets.) The shop management, seeing that students wasted their precious Internet minutes on Friendster rather than on studies, banned the site during school hours except for lunch break.


I came late into Friendster. It was 2009, and late did I came because people began to shift to Facebook and Twitter. Friendster was slowly losing its grip in the social media world, and the next two years, it already became the thing of the past. Facebook quickly became an Internet staple and gadget retailers started selling laptops and smartphones to people who cannot get enough of Facebook.


Friendster’s landing page looked more interesting than Facebook.

It was too bad for Friendster to lose quickly to the new upstart, and too sad it sunk into obscurity faster than a wink of an eye. Looking into how people exploited Friendster (and Facebook today), I came face-to-face with a truth social networking addicts will fail to bear: Internet connection is now a commodity and is now often wasted like water and electricity.


The Malay version of the website

Come to think of it. I came up with the analogy that Friendster was just a “social media” provider of the service we now call “social networking”. Facebook and Twitter were just two new providers of the service. Or in the analogy of religion, they snatched believers away from Friendster. Or in work, its users apply for work in new companies.

Coming late into Friendster when its significance was gradually diminishing, I never made the most out of it. Although it was easy to use like Facebook, it looked dull unlike the former. Yeah, it failed to upgrade itself in the competition. Social networking is business, ask Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Friendster is just another company that got bankrupt (ask the Reader’s Digest).

My acquaintances, on the other hand, can have the right to get nostalgic about it. It was a great time for time..even before Zuckerberg transformed social networking into business.

Et tu, Friendster generation?


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