Friendster Steps Back Into the Ring With $10 Million

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SAN FRANCISCO, August 23, 2006 (PodTech News) – Friendster Inc. announced Monday that it has received $10 million in new funding. The money will support a renewed effort to refocus on its original mission to be a “real-world” social network. The 4-year-old company, which was awarded a patent on the concept of social networking on June 27, was an early leader in the field. Fierce competiton from relative newcomers like MySpace and Facebook, have cut significantly into Friendster’s market share: Hitwise, a firm that tracks Internet audience, slotted Friendster as 34th among U.S. social networking sites recently. To take a closer look at Friendster’s current strategy, PodTech’s Catherine Girardeau spoke with Friendster president Kent Lindstrom, and in a separate interview, Gartner, Inc. media analyst Allen Weiner.

REPORTER’S NOTES: Analyst Allen Weiner got more air time than Friendster president Kent Lindstrom in this piece because I felt it would be more interesting to get some perspective on Friendster’s strategy than to simply hear what it was. I was glad to be able to get in some quotes from Lindstrom, though. It will be interesting to see what Friendster does with its patent on social networking. Check out John Paczkowski in Good Morning Silicon Valley for more on that. Russell Buckley of MobHappy suggests Friendster is going to have to go mobile. More discussion along these lines can be found on Pocket Picks.

– Catherine Girardeau

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