The top social network in Asia is... Friendster?

Web 2.0 | 2008/06/24 15:24 | Web 2.0 Asia
Venturebeat's Eric Eldon reports "Friendster’s growth in Asia could make it the top social network in the world, once again." The article quotes Friendster's claim that they are the number one social network service in Asia, leading everyone (Facebook, Myspace, Mixi, Cyworld) by a big margin.

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Wait a minue.. Friendster number one in Asia? Every day, I'm getting emails from Facebook and LinkedIn about a new friend request or new updates from my friends. But I haven't had a single email from Friendster for a long time. So at least for me, Friendster doesn't feel like a very active service - But then I may not be profiled as an "average" internet user in Asia.

Stats like these bring a question to my mind: Will the Western/US social network services (Myspace, FB, Friendster) take over the Asian market eventually? Or, will one of the local players (Mixi, Cyworld, come out as the Asia's social network winner, transforming itself into a regional market leader that can compete neck-and-neck with Myspace and FB in the global market? Or will every single Asian market have its own social network of choice, without going the consolidation route? What do you think?
TAG, Asia, cyworld, Facebook, friendster, MIXI, , Xiaonei

Comparison between Asian social networks

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/19 14:30 | Web 2.0 Asia
Benjamin Joffe of Plus Eight Star offers a great summary of leading social networks in Asia - namely, QQ, Mixi, Cyworld. Here's also a follow-up post.

Social network fatigue is clear and present

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/07 15:38 | Web 2.0 Asia
A few days ago, I exchanged emails with Charlie Schick of the Lifeblog blog on the issue of "social network fatigue". Charlie wrote a post titled "Facebook fatigue" - which reminded me of similar issues that have arguably been around for longer in Asia, in the forms of "Cyworld fatigue" and "Mixi fatigue" (Mixi tsukare).

About this "social network fatigue" issue, the "why" is actually an easy part - novelty gone, etc. But the "how to solve" is the more difficult part. When asked how to keep a social network "fresh" and prevent it from becoming a fad, I couldn't come up with good answers myself:
Self-reinvention, new acquisitions and value addition (think Google), letting users constantly find new people within the network, etc. pops up to my mind, but clearly it's more complicated than that.

But doing "more" can actually lead to adverse results - Cyworld tried to add more features but that made the service increasingly difficult to use and many users didn't like it.
So here's a nice brain teaser to keep your brain running even during the weekends ;-) : If you were the CEO of Cyworld or Mixi, what would you do to overcome these fatigue issues and continously provide new values to users so they won't leave your service? Watch out - "doing more stuff", again, might not be the right answer.

TAG cyworld, fatigue, MIXI, social network