Like Myspace, Friendster is another popular social networking website founded by Jonathan Abrams in Mountain View, California. The techniques, on which this privately-owned social networking site is based, are mainly Circle of Friends and Web of Friends. Using those techniques, individuals are joined in a network of virtual communities. As per the latest record, the network has 50 million registered users. Friendster has a traditional Chinese site too, existing as a part of the main Friendster URL. The users of Friendster can also have video pages in their profiles from various sources like YouTube, Grouper, Sharkle, and many other video sites.
The site is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and individual investors. The main aim of Friendster is to help the users to keep in touch with old friends while getting new friends of same wavelength. People of the age of 18 and above choose to register with Friendster to get in touch with friends, family, school, groups, activities and interests. Friendster is popular because it delivers a clean, user-friendly and interactive environment where users can easily connect with anyone around the world. There are websites where one can find several customized Friendster layouts and Friendster background that he or she can use in his or her own profile. Along with these, Friendster also offers customization layout and background for the users that make the site more attractive to the users as well as the viewers.
Friendster also boasts of a growing portfolio of patents granted to the company on social networking. Friendster was awarded with a patent in 2006 based on its 16th June 2003 application of a method and apparatus of calculating and displaying on social network. The system that is effective in the network is a combination of Circle of Friends and Web of Contacts. It collects descriptive data about several individuals and also points out other persons with whom they share personal relationships. The descriptive data and the relationship data are integrated and processed to reveal the series of social relationships with which any two individuals within a social network is connected. The users can even see the pathway that connects two individuals. A user can also determine the optimal relationship path with which he/she reaches the desired individual. There is also a communication tool with which a person in the system is introduced and can have direct communication.
Friendster is considered to be one of the top online social networks and was, in fact, the most popular of its kind for quite sometimes; until the market was divided after the arrival of Myspace and it overtook Friendster as far as page viewing is concerned. Recently, the social networking websites have been facing competitions from some other networks of its kind like Windows Live Spaces, Yahoo! 360, and Facebook and newer sites like hi5. Google offered 30,000,000 to buy out Friendster in 2003, but the authorities turned down the offer. Associated Press claims that the rejection is often considered as one of the biggest blunders in the Silicon Valley.
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