Remember the times where we used to get so stoked writing “testimonials” to our peers, your wall on Friendster was filled with “testimonials” about you from your friends about how awesome you were, or memories they had of you? logging into the site every night just to fill our profiles with our personal details, photos and interests? And to be honest, getting your friend count as high as possible? Well, your friendly friendster is now gone. Pretty much like everyone else, I was first introduced to it at the age of 12. It was an introduction to the whole social networking platform and it definitely made an impact in all aspects of my social/love life. (haha, yes, i found my first love through friendster – facepalm ) Well least I never jumped into the bandwagon of dating sites. hhahah
Out of curiosity, I decided to dig out my old friendster profile one day (hoping to reminisce and laugh at old photos) BUT, NO. Friendster called it quits in 2011, purged all remaining profiles, including MINE >:( What used to be a “platform for networking” has now transformed into a game-oriented social networking site. My first thought – what the heck?
“What they found was that by 2009, Friendster still had tens of millions of users, but the bonds linking the network weren’t particularly strong. Many of the users weren’t connected to a lot of other members, and the people they had befriended came with just a handful of their own connections. So they ended up being so loosely affiliated with the network, that the burden of dealing with a new user interface just wasn’t worth it” – The Friendster Autopsy
With the rise of Facebook and Twitter over the years, I guess what led to the death of friendster was that the service didn’t offer anything substantial that went beyond merely just beautifying our profiles. The core idea of social media platforms is networking, and what I got out of Wednesday’s symposium was that , networks are always learning and are that both preferential attachment and growth exists in real networks. I was introduced to a new concept in Barabási, Albert-László. “Rich Get Richer” ‘s reading abut the the Barabási–Albert model. It is one of several proposed models that generates scale-free networks whilst incorporating 2 important general concepts: growth and preferential attachment. Growth meaning that the number of nodes in the network increases over time and preferential attachment meaning that the more connected a node is, the more likely it is to receive new links. Intuitively, the preferential attachment can be understood if we think in terms of social networks connecting people.
Gone were the days where traditionally we have certain power companies dictating what people should be reading, and that distributiion was centered around specific points, now that we have internet people from anywhere get anything. Facebook allows you to share posts, videos, create groups, upload pictures, meet new people, that’s a social phenomenon right there in the 21st century! In comparison to Friendster, it didn’t understand the basic tenets of social media. Friendster put way too much emphasis on the media, and not enough on the social. I’ve learnt that for a social network to be successful, the focus needs to be interactive. Posting up a status on your Facebook account encourages reaching out to people, putting yourself out there. Friendster didn’t stand a chance once facebook actually made the new feed its focus, even if they did, it was far too late. Facebook was skyrocketting while Friendster was just like waving through glue. Particularly, the reason why it also failed was that it did not fully understand the subtleties of social media when it mattered most to its own existence. It didn’t realize that user profiles were the only one element of the experience, and not even the most important one at that. What was genius about Facebook was that it first lured us into the games, and creating of profiles, now sharing and uploading of pictures by everyone, we don’t turn to MSN or ICQ anymore, but Facebook chat, and ultimately the news feed function.
Taken from the link above, you can see the hollowing out of Friendster in this diagram:
Ultimately, Crafting a great profile can be fun, even satisfying, but it’s really just another game. And like all games, eventually it bores you.
My final testimonial to Friendster :