My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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friendster is *finally* going to charge

Word on the street (a.k.a. trusted friends) is that Friendster is finally going to charge by the end of the year. The current version will be available to “elite” users who pay what sounds like $5 a month. There will be a minimalist version available for free. ::sigh::

It’s kinda ironic given that some of the folks i know are slowly starting to play again but definitely not enough to pay that kinda money since they’re not looking to get laid. They just think that the stalking aspect is kinda fun and playful. I guess the gay boys might pay. But who else? Who’s still using it that addictively?

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12 comments to friendster is *finally* going to charge

  • Taybin

    Everyone I know switched to myspace about a year ago.

  • :shrug:… I won’t pay.

    But heck, I don’t necessarily think that $5 will kill of Friendster.

    1) People pay way more for match.com and other singles sites.
    2) Free services, due to a low barrier to entry, often are riddled with spam and other crap.
    3) Some may perceive that those still full members on Friendster are more serious (okay, or more desperate) dating/booty prospects, since they’re paying.

    I mean, what are the alternatives for people who want to socially network? Let me be slightly tongue-in-cheek for a moment…

    – MySpace… oh man, that is SO last year! And they’re owned by The Man now, so they’re TOTALLY uncool.

    – Facebook… mostly college kids. Nice for booty, sure, but for anything else?

    – Multiply… who?

    – Tribe… dooood! I’m too busy planning my next Burning Man trip. Or let me get back to you after this bong hit, okay mon?

    – CL… Hi, I’m a bitter BBW who wants something kinky. Any takerz? P.S. — Bring Tina.

  • not i, though i occasionally use it as an address book now for folks who i don’t have their current email address. also it’s let me in on a couple birthdays i wouldn’t have otherwise acknowledged…

    but i definitely wouldn’t pay for any of that. wouldn’t mind looking at an ad or two for those services though.

  • everyone says they’re not using friendster anymore, but why is it that whenever i look at friends pages, their last login was somewhere around yesterday. i think people aren’t still using it addictively but they are still using it. not sure that anyone will pay though. what will really need is an open source, non-corporate social network system.

  • p@

    owen – Open Source social network… This is a very interesting concept. I’m curious to what degree the ‘sourcing’ will be ‘open’ in this type of social application.

    Just a couple thoughts that came to mind:

    1) MySpace, for example only (I stopped using their service when they were bought by NewsCorp), has a series of different services for different types of users: Blogs, Music, Calendar, Forums, Groups, Mail, IM, etc… You could think of those services as applications that integrate into a core codebase architecture.

    Would the OpenSource Social Network alternative offer these services by way of users checking in their own Apps? I think that would be pretty interesting if it were the case.

    2) Security… An OpenSource Social Network API would almost certainly have to implement some pretty stringent checks and balances on the ability for users personal information to be easily accessed by third party apps, particularly SPAM bots. Do you potentially see the necessity for security hindering the potential usefulness of such a network?

  • Mark

    I’m late to this particular thread, but I just got an invite from someone to join Friendster last night. My immediate thought was “Wow. How very early 2004.”

    Would gay boys use a paid Friendster? My circle either uses Manhunt (at least you know what you’re looking for), or we do it the old fashioned way, and go to bars (at least there are no unpleasant surprises with old pictures). Or they’re already coupled off.

    But then I’m anti-social in general.

  • Something’s up with the invite system. I’m getting lots of invites from people who invited my primary email (not the email i used for Friendster). I pinged two and they figure that they invited me with that account over two years ago. Very very strange.

  • Pay? Pay for WHAT?! Sorry, no sale.

  • hi’msta pwede ka bang magpakilala sa akin pls………lang gyud kay kailangan ko ug friendster karon kay wala man ko’y friend karon

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