The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Friendster, one of the earliest social media networks, is close to being sold to investors in Southeast Asia. The deal makes sense, as although Friendster has been greatly overshadowed by rivals such as MySpace and Facebook in recent years it still has significant popularity in Southeast Asia. 90 percent of the company’s daily traffic and almost two-thirds of its 115 million users are from the region.
Friendster has introduced a new, green-themed layout that more closely resembles that of Facebook and added new features such as micropayments, a virtual gift shop and viral games.
“We’ve responded to the needs and wants of our core user base, Asian youth,” said Friendster spokesman Jeff Roberto. “Friendster is dominant among the youth sector in Asia, and today, Asia represents the largest and fastest growing Internet and mobile phone user populations in the world.”
The company did not respond to reports by Reuters that Friendster would be sold to an Asian company by the end of the year in a deal worth $100 million.