Friendster announces support for Facebook apps

Through a licensing agreement with Facebook, applications for the big-in-Asia social network will be virtually interchangeable. Will others be on the way? Maybe.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
2 min read

Developers who have created applications for Facebook's platform can now bring them over to social network Friendster. This means that Friendster supports both Facebook's code and OpenSocial, the standard created by Google for social-network widgets.

"Friendster's support of both the Facebook and OpenSocial platforms is a big win for business and individual developers, as well as for Friendster users," David Jones, vice president of global marketing for Friendster, said in a release. "For the developers that have invested resources in developing and launching a Facebook app, Friendster has now made it very easy for them to 'port' these applications to Friendster...For Web 2.0 companies that have developed apps using Facebook and OpenSocial APIs, they now have the flexibility to choose between approaches when launching applications on Friendster."

Another social network, Bebo, now owned by AOL, announced that it would implement support for Facebook's platform late last year. Friendster marketing director Jeff Roberto told CNET News that Friendster entered into a licensing agreement with Facebook, which has since made most of its developer platform open source.

Could another social network do the same? Probably. "With an open platform, it's quite possible that others will embrace it," Roberto said.

Long before Facebook was a household word, Friendster was the first big social-networking site to take off in the U.S. But in 2004, plagued by technical problems, Friendster lost significant ground to MySpace (now owned by News Corp.) and later Facebook.

Since then, it's had quite a reincarnation. Friendster estimates that 78 percent of its 80 million users, concentrated primarily in Asian countries like the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, do not use Facebook. If so, it would be to a developer's advantage to make an app available on both platforms.

In August, Friendster raised $20 million in venture funding and hired former Google employee Richard Kimber as CEO. Last December, it debuted its developer platform, and in September released OpenSocial support.