According to an anonymous source Friendster is going to announce a $10 million funding round today. DAG Ventures, who are also investors in other 2.0 startups Plaxo and Grouper, are taking it up this time in hope to revive the service. A site relaunch and (hopefully) some turning profits later on this year are included.
Let's face it, Friendster is dying – or is indeed dead – there's no question about that. Sure, they have the patent now and other things, but what good does all that do when you're missing the real deal: the users, the audience. This $10 million is bonus for them and I'm sure they needed it, but will it really 'bring them back' like it's supposed or at least hoped to? I don't believe so.
See, when Friendster was at its peak and MySpace and others were inexistant, they did a big mistake. They under-estimated the market which they themselves pioneered. Of course, it was a lot harder to see it back then and they did an excellent job when it comes to pioneering this technology, but I guess they weren't good enough to survive for much long. I have to be honest, I have a Friendster account but I've only used it once — when I first joined — and a lot of people are in the same position.
Their real relaunch date, to be honest, was way back in 2004 when MySpace saw growth and literally overtook them. They could've at least noticed or acknowledged this, get that additional million or so of funding, come out and rebranded from A-Z, change their focus, learn from MySpace itself (of course a competitor who overtakes you 50 times faster than what it took to grow your whole business has to be getting something right), and they'd end up with, oh, I don't know, maybe the 100 million or so users that currently view MySpace everyday. Instead, what do they have now? A tiny 30 million user base (which by the way is very unlikely to grow) and $10 million more to spend.