Earlier this month, Malaysian based social-network-turned-social–gaming-website Friendster.com launched new dating features, allowing people to browse and hook up with potential partners online. Used widely as a dating website in the past, the new dating features of Friendster could be welcomed by many of its former users across Southeast Asia.
There are three dating-related features on the website: My Crushes, My Admirers, and My Matches. In the Crush game, users get to choose whether the pictures of potential partners are hot or not. If users say that the picture is hot, then they become an admirer of that person, and that person becomes a crush of the user in return. If both parties say that the other person is hot, then we have ourselves a match. Users can view these three features from the social dashboard.
Another big change is that Friendster is being far more choosy with users' profile pictures. There is a requirement to add profile pictures with an emphasis on your face, and the pictures will then need to be approved from the Friendster team. When I tried using a picture with my face a little far away from the camera, the picture got rejected by the team. Other profile information is required as well, such as users’ sexual orientation.
There are on-site purchases that can be made using Friendster coins, including features to make profiles more easily discovered through search or through banner spaces. These coins can be bought online using several payment methods, including PayPal and Indonesian banks BCA and Mandiri.
Around two months ago, Friendster CEO COO Nikolai Galicia said that more than 50 percent of the site’s users come from Asia. Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines were the site’s top four countries, which is where Friendster had its social gaming platform. So you might find more search results when looking for potential partners from those countries.
By combining social gaming and dating features, Friendster could potentially make a huge comeback as one of the biggest dating social networks -- at least in the Southeast Asia region. That alone would certainly be a good step.