Friendster Drops Yahoo, Gets New Best Friend

    March 7, 2007

It’s a timeless story; a friendship that had all the makings of lasting a lifetime is torn to shreds when one of the parties drops the other in favor of a richer, cooler, and more popular pal. Playing the part of the jilted friend in today’s dramatization is Yahoo, who appears to have once again been shafted by Google.

While I wouldn’t necessarily conclude that Yahoo executives are planning a non-stop road trip to Mountain View in their Depends in an attempt to exact revenge upon Google for courting away Friendster, one has to believe that the news isn’t exactly a morale boost.

So what’s all the fuss about? Friendster announced today that it would no longer require Yahoo’s services for its advertising and search needs, and that the social networking site has enlisted the partnership of Google to step into the breech and cater to those particular needs from here on out.

Friendster is most popular throughout Southeast Asia, with the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia ranking in as its top three markets. In the United States, however, Friendster is only the 35th most popular site, according to Hitwise. Conversely, social networking rivals MySpace and Facebook rank number one and number eight, respectively.

The move may be too little, too late as MySpace continues to carry enormous momentum, fueled by the focused efforts that the brass at Fox Interactive have poured into the venture. And despite its abysmal figures as far as advertising goes, Facebook still continues to be the network of choice for college students across the nation.

Nevertheless, the Google/Friendster partnership seems to be moving full speed ahead, with display advertising set to run on member profiles across the world, while search services will be introduced sometimes in the second quarter of this year.

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