Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Friendster vs Facebook: who's winning in Malaysia?

For project on some work I was doing, I gathered some armchair research on Friendster vs Facebook in Malaysia and here's the interesting data:

Friendster No 1 in Malaysia (Oct 2008)
User comment points out that while Friendster is No.1 in terms of numbers (accounts), Facebook is in Google’s top 10 key word search in Malaysia. Friendster does not make the top 10 list.

Friendster press release

Alexaholic Rankings (current, updated real-time)
This ranks the traffic websites get from Malaysia. Note that Facebook is the 5th most visited page ahead of Friendster (only No. 7). This has changed much from the 2008 news release from Friendster which was in the Top 5 most popular sites. Facebook has overtaken them in these past 6 months.

Of course, Alexa is anything but accurate in Malaysia, but still...if Friendster used to go around telling people they were top 5 on Alexa, it's news that right now, they aren't.

Facebook Increasingly popular in Malaysia (31 March 2009)
This story in March reveals Facebook receiving a 14% sustained growth in Malaysia month-on-month. This means, in Feb 2008 Facebook received 500k visitors, but in February 2009 it received 2.4 million. That’s monumental growth.

Friendster is, by number of accounts, the biggest but it’s trending down in terms of activity (measured by traffic). A quick dip-stick survey on Twitter reveals that most significant online people in Malaysia prefer using Facebook over Friendster.

Replies I got from the Tweet: Which do you prefer Facebook or Friendster? Why? #malaysia (to poll only Malaysian users)

nigelais @davidlian Facebook cause I deleted my Friendster account a long time ago.

mikefoong @davidlian facebook, its cleaner, easier to manage and expandable #malaysia

kellster @davidlian: facebook. i prefer the layout and the security of it :)

ShaolinTiger @nigelais @davidlian I deleted Friendster account too, it was lame and is even lamer now Facebook rocks! Myspace is for musicians #malaysia

thechannelc @mikefoong @davidlian facebook is fast losing it's appeal. I find I'm only there to play word twist to help me sleep. #malaysia (does not have Friendster)

lokgotz @davidlian facebook. Friendster too many annoying strangers... #malaysia

hantu @davidlian re: your question, I have a Facebook account, but I'm not active; I recently deleted my Friendster, clutter/ads issues.

HillaryChan Facebook, but I should probably be more busy on Friendster too. A lot of my girls from my alma mater are active there. @davidlian #malaysia

saimatkong @davidlian facebook, friendster tak da orang guna liao macam...

On another tack, I've got the sneaking suspicion that Twitter might end up the winner pretty soon. People clued into tech are now almost all on Twitter and people like my dad are now getting on Facebook. Obviously there's a bell-curve somewhere that

Personally, I love the simplicity of Twitter and how it lets me connect as meaningfully as possible, with as little effort as possible (140 characters FTW!). Facebook's recent revamp to make itself more like Twitter ("What's on your mind?" sounds too similar to "What are you doing?") seems aimed at driving meaningful connections more than zombie bites and that might just keep them in the running. And in my humble opinion, that's what social connections will turn out to be: simple ways to drive meaningful connections (data, picture, text - whatever is meaningful to you).

The winning social network, I feel, will need to give people the right balance of meaningful information, whilst avoiding information overload. Oh, and it also has to be free.


Ben Israel said...

David, my younger brother (in college) totally doesn't get Twitter. Finds it boring. Doesn't have friends on it.

He's on Facebook and Friendster.

Me thinks the demographics still makes a big difference, although it is shifting.

Marvin Lee said...

From what I see, Facebook is winning the game.
Friendster while based in US is only popular in Asia and Asians are now shifting to Facebook.
Friendster has too much spam which they are not bothered to filter, probably the spam messages/bulletins generates traffic?
I used to favor Friendster over Facebook due to the application overload in Facebook.
Nowadays I visit Facebook more as there are more friends over there and less spam!
For social networks, people follow the crowd and when the crowd go to Facebook, then we are seeing a winner already.

davidlian said...

@Ben_Israel: There is definitely a science behind who gets on what technology first. When you break it down, its really all about demographics. I think I'll post about this next.

@Marvin Lee: Thanks for the useful insight. My personal usage of Facebook is a really stripped down version - no applications when I can help it - and most status updates are direct reposts from my Twitter account.

DiEsE said...

Hi David,

I was one of Friendster loyalist (more than 5years) until the day I cancelled my FS account last year. The reason? Too much spam and lack of security.

davidlian said...

@DiESE: Thanks for your input. That's valuable learning.

Nicholas Chan said...

friendster sucks.

davidlian said...

@Nicholas Chan: I agree wholeheartedly.