These days social networking seems to be focused on services like Facebook and Twitter, but it’s easy to forget those outfits are relative newcomers to the game: one of the earliest social networking services out there was Friendster—and, just like Facebook and Twitter, it’s struggled for years to find a way to turn its service into a money making enterprise.
Now, Friendster might have found a benefactor: Reuters reports that an unnamed Asian buyer is lining up to acquire Friendster for about $100 million by the end of 2009. An Asian acquisition makes sense: Friendster boasts more than 100 million registered users, more than half of whom are in Asia.
Friendster just rolled out a whole new look to its Web site this week, including new online games, an online gift shop, and a “Friendster Wallet,” which lets users buy “Friendster Coins” they can use for services and products to be offered on the site. The Friendster Wallet won’t require a credit card: users will be able to buy pre-paid “top-up” cards at places like convenience stores and “thousands of offline locations throughout Asia.”