This morning, TechCrunch stumbled across a time capsule: a brand-new video promoting Friendster, touting its upgrade that, it appears, makes it function like the MySpace of eight years ago.
They miss, though, the Secret Hidden Message™ of the video. That being: Asians only, please.
Friendster’s eastward movement was noted a few years back. As MySpace still dominated the United States, and Facebook grew to challenge it, Friendster was left in the cold. But it had already established a presence in Southeast Asia, and from there transitioned from life support to vibrancy.
Watch the video touting their redesign…
…and note the following:
1. Every single person pictured is Asian. Even the perplexed looking old guy.
2. It disparages its competitors as being “too common,” and “too generic.” As it says, “If everyone’s there, whoop-de-do!” Many people, of course, see the universality of Facebook, allowing you to stumble across a grade school crush, for example, as a selling point. Those people, per Friendster, are wrong.
3. It’s “fun and easy to use, just for you and your friends!” Wink wink!
4. Most nefariously, when they mention the games you can play, they show a game featuring Mario. From Nintendo.
It’s natural that a business would target an advertisement to the people who generally use it – remember, for example, how Microsoft Poland dealt with a culturally inaccurate photo. Here, Friendster looks to capitalize on that segment strength, and to bring it back across the ocean. Targeting less than 5% of the country, though, will be a tricky sell to investors.
And with that video, not an easy sell to consumers, either.
Friendster Gets A Major Makeover, Calls Other Social Networks Plain And Boring [TechCrunch]
Primitive Social Networking Site Gives It One More Sad Go [The Awl]
Lebenszeichen von Friendster [Kurier]
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