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Friendster friends Yahoo! Southeast Asia

Multi-year deal brings together two of the most popular Web sites in Asia

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
January 12, 2010 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/d03

Friendster + YahooFriendster, whose acquisition by MOL Global in December was one of the biggest social media stories of the year, has announced a new partnership with Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

The deal weds one of the most popular social networks in Asia with a consistently visited Web portal, meaning that both sites will integrate many of each other's features while at the same time cross-promoting on each other's various Web properties.

In mid-December, the news came seemingly out of nowhere that Friendster, the first mover and pioneer of social networks, had been acquired by MOL Global, a Malaysian online payments company, for nearly $30 million. Despite what anyone thought about the acqusition stateside, no one could deny that Friendster still represents a hefty force in Asia.

The site has 90 million registered users and 90 percent of its daily traffic coming from Southeast Asia today.

There are four main parts to Friendster's partnership with Yahoo! in that region. First, Friendster has launched an application specifically designed for users to check their network activity, either from Yahoo!'s homepage or toolbar. In turn, a line of premium promotions for Yahoo! services--Web Mail, Messenger, etc.--have already begun popping up on popular Friendster pages.

As for proposed plans, Yahoo! Search will be equipped with more Friendster-friendly results, designed to make Yahoo! Search more engaging. Similarly, Friendster users will soon be able to push their network updates to Yahoo! Messenger and other Yahoo! sites or pages that take advantage of the Yahoo! Updates API.

Since both of these entities are big players in southeast Asia, this partnership makes quite a bit of sense, and it is likely that both sides will benefit from the deal in the long term.

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