Friendster may be seeing users go to Facebook in its home base of Southeast Asia, but it is making a good move toward making more money. The social network says its going to start selling virtual goods, partnering with the payment provider MOL AccessPortal Berhad to introduce two currencies, dubbed “Friendster Coins” and “Friendster Chips,” for its upcoming Friendster Wallet platform.
Earlier this month, the company said its future included social games; although it previously was focused on making money through ads, virtual goods have proven to be a viable business model.
Most of Friendster’s Southeastern Asian audience does not actually have a credit card. This is where MOL comes into play. The Freindster Wallet platform is intended to be funded by pre-paid methods (like pre-paid cards) that will be redeemable for Friendster Coins. MOL will be responsible for the management of transactions and fraud prevention. It will also support PayPal and mobile payments.
Notice, however, that MOL will only be dealing with transactions as they apply to Friendster Coins. That is because this is the actual currency users can buy. The other universal currency, Friendster Chips, is actually being introduced as a virtual currency that can be earned through advertising offers. Chips will only be available as part of advertising promotions conducted by Friendster partners and/or given away as offer rewards.
We’ll continue to cover Friendster’s virtual currency integrations as they evolve over the coming weeks and months.