First-Mover Advantage Is Not Always An Advantage

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be the first in the biz. Take a look at Friendster. The website which pioneered the whole social media frenzy is now on its way to be ‘put down’ on May 31st. Friendster loyalists will have to take backup for their data as the website will delete all user photos, posts etc.

‘Social is as Social does’ and it looks like Friendster just failed to be completely ‘Social’ in its development. The biggest drawback of the website was its complete lack of a news feed. The sole concentration was on building your profile and gathering friends. There is only so much addition you can do to your own profile. Once your profile is as data rich as can be; what then? Facebook was quick to pick up on this opportunity and provided users with a news feed that kept them up-to-date with what their friends were doing at that moment.

The lack of a News feed was not the only reason for Friendster’s downfall. Looks like poor decisions were a major contributing factor that led to the decline of the social networking website. Friendster creator Jonathan Abrams refused a $30 million offer made by Google as well as a stake in the search engine which would be worth billions today. The bad decision became worse as websites like Facebook and MySpace created waves in the social media sphere and took over the mantle.  Friendster definitely had an opportunity as it had a large number of youngsters on the website who were intrigued by the concept and would have stayed on the website had they continued to innovate and provide a better offering.

Friendster could have also benefited from that one USP that makes websites like Facebook and MySpace what they are. Where MySpace was trendy and ‘cool’, Facebook was personal and like an intimate conversation.

The world of Social Media is extremely fast paced and keeping up with the pace can be difficult for most. Friendster plans to return with a new gaming site and here’s hoping a successful comeback.

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