It's an odd match-up. One is the top social networking site worldwide, while the other is the top social networking site in only one region. Are there more similarities or more differences between these two social networking giants?
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in Sep, 2008. Since that time, Friendster failed to sustain its spot as the top social networking site in Asia. Facebook is now the number one social networking site as per most metrics published online. Friendster has changed directions and is now a social gaming site.
Facebook - The King of Social Networking
Facebook's rise to fame can be attributed to its founder Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg's personality as a meek and yet intelligent geek fresh out of college has somehow been embedded in Facebook. And so, it quickly drew the young crowd. With its fun features, eventually Facebook became a force to contend with in the social networking arena. You've read about it's history. You've read how Zuckerberg has catapulted Facebook into fame. But what really is in Facebook that makes it click with social networking fans?
Simple, Vibrant, and Clean Homepage
I remember when I first visited Facebook. I must admit that I was pretty impressed by its interface. The no-nonsense Facebook homepage emits an air of friendliness. The very accessible features that have grown steadily through the years were enough to make you stick with using it. Once you get to connect to a lot of your friends, sharing photos, updates, and fun stuff with each other - that's when you know that you have been Facebooked!
Aside from its design, its the value-added, plain old fun features of Facebook may keep you glued to the site. Whether you are posting to a friend's fun wall or creating a photo album for all the rest of your contacts to view, Facebook is a robust, fast-loading website with powerful interactive features. Add in the ability to customize your pages with Facebook "apps," and the site becomes a even more powerful force to contend with.
Facebook truly is the "Google" of social networking sites, and it would take a lot to displace it from its current position.
Asia's Top Social Networking Site - Friendster
If you go around and start asking people from Asia if they know what social networks are - they would probably say Friendster. That's because Friendster has become the icon of social networking in Asia. People just love the way Friendster has managed to bridge the digital divided among long-lost friends, classmates, and fellow alumni. I've even heard how many have met their true loved ones because of Friendster.
What makes Friendster tick among Asian social networking users is the fact that it is so easy to use and yet packed with fun features.
For example, the hyperlinked profile information of its members is a great way of finding other people of similar interests to you. And recently Friendster has started to open up its platform to third-party application developers.
Interestingly, while Friendster has been around way ahead than Facebook it is the one which is following Facebook's lead when it comes to developing more applications and other advanced features such as the one mentioned above.
Gradually Friendster is extending its reach beyond Asia and onwards to the world. If Friendster manages to break out from its exclusively Asian reputation and establish itself as a global social networking site, it might well be on its way to becoming the major competitor of Facebook.
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