Friendster, one of the forerunners in the social networking domains, seems all set to be snapped up by an Asian buyer for more than £60 million in the coming few weeks, according to the Reuters news agency.
The website, which was founded back in 2002, has been overshadowed by some of the major players in the likes of Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo, and as of now, has the major part of its user base in Asia.
An anonymous source told the new agency that a £60 million deal could be announced as early as the end of this month.
Back in July, technology blog TechCrunch valued the website at around $210 million, which is far less than that of the Facebook’s valuation of $100 billion. In spite of a significantly lesser valuation, Friendster could be very useful for the Asian firm because of its considerable 100 million user base.
As per the anonymous source, there is a shortlist of buyers presently looking ahead to acquire the beleaguered social networking site, the most noticeable of which is Chinese online major Tencent Holdings, which currently carries a market valuation of around $35 billion.
Meanwhile, the website received a major facelift on Friday in a bid to lure the younger audience. It has further modified its monetisation strategy to switch from advertising to micro-transaction based revenue model.
Incidentally, Friendster turned down a $30 million acquisition offer from the search giant Google around six years ago, Reuters added.
Friendster will fade away unless it becomes part of a wider string of services which is what this acquisition could possibly bring. The social networking website has already lost the war against Bebo and the likes; things might have been very, very different had they accepted Google's move for an acquisition.
(The Tech Herald)
(The Washington Post)