Friendster Smartly Focuses on Making Money in Asia

Friendster has opened up some new offices in Asia, which makes sense seeing as the social network has a stronghold in the Asian countries–not the U.S. The company made a series of announcements this week regarding changes being made to Friendster, including new executives that have been brought on board, and a number of new partnerships aimed at further developing Friendster’s dominance in the Asia Pacific.

New office locations include Singapore and Sydney, Australia, which is where Friendster’s CEO Richard Kimber will be based along with the new hires for marketing and business development. Given its proximity to the Asia Pacific, it’s not entirely surprising to see Friendster establish central executives in Australia. The U.S. global headquarters, however, are now in Mountain View, CA, where some executives and cross-department employees will remain. Looking towards the rest of the year, Friendster has made it quite clear that it will be focusing a great deal of attention on the Asia offices, where at least 80% of the company’s new hires will be based.

There is also a heavy emphasis on Friendster’s marketing office, which will be headed by the company’s first Philippines country sales manager Narciso Reyes. He will be in charge of building new ad campaigns and relationships with local advertisers, as well as recruiting a local sales team. With previous executive sales experience at both Google and Doubleclick Reyes will be creating online campaigns specific to Friendster’s global needs.

One way in which Friendster is looking to build up its advertising revenue is by expanding its reseller partnerships to work alongside the company’s direct sales team. Ultimate goals for this initiative likely revolve around the enabling of local advertisers and third party advertising agencies to have more autonomy and control over ad campaigns that run within Friendster. Seeing as Friendster also has its own platform and a number of user-centric features for controlling their own internal experience, such an approach to the advertising aspect of the social network could have a number of benefits within Friendster’s site.

As for Friendster’s new partners, Pixel Media is among the new throng. As an advertising sales network based in Asia, we see further evidence of Friendster’s long-term goals regarding its business model and its presence in Asian countries. This is reiterated when scrolling through some of Friendster’s other new partners, which are mostly advertising firms of one sort or another. Growth in Asia, despite Friendster’s dominance in many Asian regions, is a top priority for the company and ramping up business development and sales are both key aspects of a company’s ability to scale at this level.

Facebook is ye another social network with a noticeable attention to its business model and advertising, and given the current economy, effective marketing is crucial for online networks relying on ad revenue of any sort.