Friendster could be sold by Xmas

Social networking pioneer Friendster may be sold by Christmas according to Australian based CEO Richard Kimber.

The company has been on the market since May with Morgan Stanley handling the sale. Kimber told Reuters that potential suitors were down to a “shortlist”  with the expectation being that it will be an Asian based company.

Chinese media company Tencent, the firm behind the country’s most popular IM software, QQ, has been mooted as a potential buyer along with Softbank and private equity firm Oak Pacific.

Around 90% of Friendster’s user base is in Asia and over the past year the company has shifted its regional HQ to Australia and beefed up its staff head count across the region particularly in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

“90% of our users are in Asia so this is really where we need to be and this is where the heart of the company is,” Friendster’s head of Asia Ian Stewart said in May.

Friendster has also unveiled the relaunch of its website, logo and brand slogan.

“Our new brand is just one of the ways we are communicating the evolution of our business as well as our commitment to our users - they’ve given us great feedback and we’ve listened. “We understand our users and our major markets in Asia better than anyone. This is just the beginning of a series of new products and services catering to the needs of our users,” said Kimber.

The new-look Friendster  incorporates easier site navigation and entertainment and gaming features.

Friendster claims more than 115 million registered users worldwide and serves 9 billion pages a month. Users spend approximately 110 minutes on the site per month and more than 100,000 users register for Friendster daily.