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AsiaNet: New Friendster site gaining momentum

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Friendster, the pioneer social networking site that was just relaunched as a social gaming platform is gaining momentum with increasing users and premium games.

Friendster has attracted more than half a million new users and now includes over 40 premium games in two months after it was introduced to the public on June 28. The new site is aimed at bringing social games to young Asians and helping games publishers and developers tap the robust gaming Asian markets.

Social gaming is a new genre of easy to play online game that is played by a wide demographic of users with their friends on social networks. Some of today's most popular social games on Friendster includes BoomZ and Dragon's Call.

Friendster's Chief Executive Officer Ganesh Kumar Bangah, said: "Social gaming is rapidly gaining momentum in Asia. The early results attest to the fact that social gaming is proving to be creating deeper engagements and interactions for these young Asian users."
Some of the results of the Friendster relaunch:

- Monthly Active Users and Daily Active Users have increased by 50%.

- More than 90% of the new users are now based in Asia.

- There are currently over 40 premium games and hundreds of free-to-play games and applications; with nearly half of the new users play between one to five games in the last 30 days.

- The top 30% of these users typically spend more than 45 mins on Friendster during the last 30 days.

- More than 10% of the users have purchased virtual credits in Friendster to help them enjoy the games better.

Bangah further explained that the service continues to be developed and additional features are regularly being added in. Friendster has already added in Facebook Connect which allows users to login to Friendster using their Facebook account. Just last week, the new site allows users to choose Simplified Chinese as their main interface. Popular gaming features such as chat will be introduced in the coming weeks.

Though social games on Friendster are offered free, exclusive in-game items can to be purchased. Friendster's virtual currency, Friendster Coins, has seen a healthy increase since the site was relaunched. Friendster, which was relaunched with a new brand and logo, has also introduced a free wireless Internet services at popular outlets such as Starbucks and Papa Johns across Malaysia.

Friendster was acquired by MOL Global in late 2009. MOL Global also operates MOL Access Portal, a leading Internet payment provider for social networking sites, virtual worlds and social gaming platforms. As part of the relaunch, Friendster moved its business operations out of the U.S. to Asia. Friendster is leveraging gaming specialists within the MOL team and the company now operates mainly from three Asian countries namely in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.

"We are on the right track to make Friendster a sustainable online business," Bangah added. "There are endless possibilities for us to extend our service offering to our users. We have major plans to introduce new channels and integrate more online and social activities."

Friendster is highly recognized as one of the world's first social net-works. Today Friendster is a niche social network that is highly engaged and focused for young Asians across the world. Through its portal, the social gaming site helps people discover new people and things that are important to them. Friendster was acquired by MOL Global in December 2009. The company today also operates Friendster iCafe and Friendster Wifi in Malaysia.




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