MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Friendster, Inc., a top global web site based on traffic, today announced a new brand and web site packed with new features representing a significant milestone in the company's history and further signifying the company's evolution to focus on the Asian youth market. The notable changes include a new fun-centric brand, and a redesigned web site with an emphasis on local relevance, enhancing the overall user experience. The new direction and focus reflect Friendster's dominant position among the youth audience in Asia.
"Our new brand is just one of the ways we are communicating the evolution of our business as well as our commitment to our users - they've given us great feedback and we've listened," said Richard Kimber, chief executive officer at Friendster. "We understand our users and our major markets in Asia better than anyone. This is just the beginning of a series of new products and services catering to the needs of our users, and in a way unmatched by any other social network."
Focus on Asian Youth
In 2003, Friendster pioneered social networking, and today is a leading web site throughout Southeast Asia, with over 75 million registered users and over 90 percent of daily traffic coming from the region. Today 80 percent of Friendster users in Asia are aged between 16 to 24. The youth uses Friendster to express themselves through their customization of the site, sharing content and news with friends, and as a source of entertainment. The youth user base enjoys local music, gifting, photo sharing, games, and using Friendster on their mobile devices. All of these are represented today in Friendster's product suite and will be further developed over time specifically with the Asian youth in mind.
At the center of Friendster's new identity is an energetic logo symbolizing fun, personalization and individuality among youth. It's an important visual identifier for the brand, crafted from a single line and ending in a Friendster smile, creating Friendster's new wordmark. It represents the brand's personality - fun, creative, friendly and personal. The Friendster wordmark is housed within a green "word cloud." The word cloud represents communication within a community, and truly depicts the essence of Friendster's core user base. The new branding will also include a new tagline: "Connecting Smiles." This tagline is Friendster's unique brand promise and portrays what drives Friendster as a company and what the brand means to its users--simply put, it represents the youth enjoying themselves with their friends.
New Web Site
Building on Friendster's position as a leading social network, the redesigned site is a clean, simple approach to sharing, communication and self-expression. The new design also places emphasis on those features that are favored by the Friendster community--like shoutouts, profile personalization, photo sharing, games, finding friends, and messaging. Every user's logged-in homepage includes a redesigned network activity Stream and Shoutout publishing box, making it easier to keep track of everything friends are doing, what content is being shared, what new photos have been uploaded and more. Each user also has a new Shoutout history page called the Shoutout Stream, where Shoutouts are aggregated, allowing users and their friends to view historical Shoutouts, especially the ones they missed when they were originally posted.
The new site is designed to be colorful, fun and easy to use. The global site navigation bar and Friendster logo are in vibrant, bright green although users can select their own color theme for their homepage and their site-wide navigation bar at the top of every Friendster page. Given the importance of customization to the users the user profile page has been enhanced and redesigned, optimized for profile skins and themes from Friendster's directory of skins or a user's own images, designs and colors. In addition to the home and profile page, many of the popular pages have been redesigned to simplify the site experience, including the friends, messages, comments, photo browsing, and photo uploading pages. The primary features on these pages have been optimized for usability, putting all the features Friendster users love right at their fingertips, with games now available through the 'Fun' menu on the Navbar.
New Product Launches
- The Friendster Wallet is a new micro-payments platform that allows users to purchase products and services on Friendster such as virtual gifts, and to send and receive money to one another. The Friendster Wallet enables users to store account balances and supports a variety of payment methods including pre-paid cards, mobile payments, online payments and credit card payments. Moving forward, Friendster will enable users to make purchases surrounding online games and other offerings. The Friendster Wallet is powered via a partnership with MOL AccessPortal Berhad (MOL)*, a leading payments provider leveraging a network of over 500,000 physical and virtual payment channels worldwide.
- The Friendster Gift Shop enables the Friendster community to send virtual gifts to one another, quickly and conveniently. Friendster Gifts are used to send personal gestures of kindness, celebrate significant accomplishments, and recognize friends and family on special days, like birthdays, or just for fun. A variety of gift themes are supported and more will be added over time. Currently, users can choose from virtual birthday gifts, collectible gifts, greeting gifts, premium gifts, romance gifts, seasonal gifts, thank you gifts and more.
- Friendster Games is an online games destination, which will offer Friendster users a wide variety of fun, entertaining games and applications to play online with their friends. Building on the games already available on the site (through the 'Fun' menu on the Navbar), users will be able to easily search and bookmark the games they like to play. Game developers will be able to incorporate The Friendster Wallet into their games, allowing them to participate in the Friendster micro-payments ecosystem.
"We look forward to delivering a great user experience and continued product innovation surrounding our new brand and web site. We have a lot coming in the weeks ahead - this is only the beginning," said Kimber.
With more than 115 million members worldwide, Friendster is a leading global online social network. Friendster is focused on helping people stay in touch with friends and discover new people and things that are important to them. Friendster is one of the best sites that allow people to meaningfully participate with others in exciting and fun ways. Friendster prides itself in delivering an easy-to-use, friendly and interactive environment where users can easily connect with anyone around the world via www.friendster.com or m.friendster.com from any Internet-ready mobile device. Friendster has a growing portfolio of patents granted to the company on social networking, with more expected over the next several months. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Friendster is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, IDG Ventures and individual investors.
* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
SOURCE Friendster, Inc.