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Friendster to evolve into a Social Gaming Portal

Friendster will be evolving into something better in the next 3 to 6 months if we are to believe what the new owner of the pioneer in social media networking said to reporters in their office in Makati City, Philippines.

“We are in the midst of a highly confidential project; we call it Project Neutron. Basically, we transform Friendster into a social gaming portal over the next three to six months,” said MOL Global Group chief executive officer Ganesh Kumar Bangah.

“You will see hundreds of games in there. We have already partnered with many game developers. Users will find it entertaining to spend time on it. It will not be a completely different product, but an evolution.” Bangah adds.

Bangah also said that they will not be directly competing with Facebook.

“We did not buy Friendster for it to become a general social network, which is what Facebook is. We bought Friendster because of its community, which allows us to basically roll out our content and games on it. Another reason we bought Friendster is because it has this brand that, in turn, gave our brand global recognition. It enabled us to get a lot of new partnerships as well, even a partnership with Facebook. So ironically, by buying Friendster, we actually made Facebook open their eyes and say, ‘Hey that’s a good payment system for online transactions,’” Bangah says.

MOL Global also sees the Philippines as full of untapped potential.

“I find that social shopping, like in, is quite prevalent here in the Philippines. We are starting to see more and more micro merchants on site like these.

So you’ve got one level of growth: with more and more people accessing content. And now we’re waiting for the next level of growth, which is e-commerce, which is where the delivery elements have to come in. We are the ones who will provide that.

That’s why we see a lot of growth potential in the Philippines, both for the MOL business and the Friendster business, and we will continue to invest in this country. And we believe with Internet penetration going up, this is a big growth market for us.

And we are confident that as e-commerce grows, and it will grow, the payment industry will grow. It’s about being there early, building the infrastructure,”
Bangah explains.

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