New Friendster CEO Interview

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New Friendster CEO Interview

Postby snwmark » Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:50 pm

COMPUTER WORLD -- Aug 15 -- I talked to Richard Kimber, the new CEO of Friendster about what the social network needs to do to muster support in the US.

Q: Friendster has recently taken on a "Big in Japan" reputation, where you are more widely used outside of the US. Is that going to become an on-going direction for the company?
A: Yes, we are focused on Asia and all people connected to Asia.

Q: What do you think you need to do to re-capture a US audience (and US advertisers)?
A: Today, Friendster is bigger in the US than it\'s ever been. We\'re going to continue to launch new features and monetization strategies globally and in the US.

Q:  What are some of the very latest trends in social networking? How are you changing to adapt to those trends?
A: The race is on for globalization and monetization. We\'ve launched 9 new languages in the past 9 months, and in doing so, we\'ve expanded our addressable market to over 70% of the world\'s Internet population, or over 3/4 of a billion people. We\'ve also launched Friendster Mobile. Our mobile offerings have also been rolled out in multiple languages.

Q: What is the best solution for making apps that users can share between sites?
A: The largest cross-site, community driven initiative today is OpenSocial. Friendster is a founding member of OpenSocial, and we\'re launching full support for OpenSocial shortly.

Q: Do you think social networking can take up too much time for the average user?
A: That depends on who you are and what you\'re doing on them! Friendster is the global leader in user engagement -- our users spend about 215 minutes, almost 4 hours, per month on our site.

Q: What will social networking look like in five years?
A: Moving forward, the big global social networks will continue to grow and take an even larger share of total Web traffic and online user engagement. Today only 20% of Internet users are using social networks.


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