This is interesting news. Friendster is relaunching as a social gaming platform. They have quite the challenge ahead of them. Ultimately any ‘social media game’ has to compete with users of Zynga’s products (Cityville, Farmville, etc). Tadhg over at whatgamesare.com made the point that Zynga won Facebook, and they did this by being a really smart company. To compete Friendster would need to bring something to the table that Zynga can’t provide.
Or maybe Freindster isn’t trying to compete with Zynga. Maybe they are trying to provide a new platform to Zynga and get some cash by putting new faces in front of Z’s games. This puts them into the old position as trying to provide something new that Facebook can’t. Viximo already plays in that space and is capitalizing on putting games everywhere that Facebook ins’t. We Americans tend to forget that there are some really big social networks out there which are not run by Zuckerberg. And Viximo has a big head start on taping that market over Friendster.
All this just as Google+ is happening? We have no idea what the impact of Google+ will be on social gaming.
In any event, it seems Friendster has a real challenge ahead of them. They are trying to solve their own problems by playing in a highly competitive space and just may be positioning themselves between a good number of rocks and a couple hard places. The mantra of any company that wants to make money is “Find out where customer pain is, and remove it”. I’m not sure there is pain that Freindster can remove, or at least I don’t see it yet. Maybe you smarter folks can point out to me what I’m missing in the comments.