Friendster is still no.1 social network in Malaysia, in almost every aspects. MySpace used to be no.2 in Malaysia but has since been overtook by Facebook in 2008.
Measurement: Unique visitors from Malaysia, in May 2008.
1. Friendster (3,024,000 unique visitors)
2. Facebook (758,000)
3. MySpace (735,000)
Observation: Friendster is at least 4 times bigger than Facebook or MySpace!
Measurement: Traffic ranking in Malaysia, as of Dec 2008.
1. Friendster (No.3 most visited site)
2. Facebook (No.8)
3. MySpace (No.10)
Observation: Ning and Hi5 is at a distance No.43 and 64 respectively.
Google Insights for Search (source)
Measurement: Most googled term in Malaysia, as of Dec 2008.
Observation: By looking at the interest over time graph, Facebook has just overtook MySpace in Oct 2008.
Why Friendster is so successful in Malaysia?
- First-mover advantage. Friendster is already popular here since 2004, compared to MySpace around 2006 and Facebook by end of 2007. Resistance to change, if you are wondering why.
- Ease of usage. Friendster is easier to use in relative to Facebook's crowded applications. Average internet users would have just lookup their friends, upload photos and share them among friends.
- Appeal to all races. I am not sure why but it seems that MySpace only managed to attract local Malays, perhaps due to its music streaming feature. Meanwhile, Friendster has done better in attracting all races.
- Personalization. Young users are usually keen to show off their identity. They can always personalize their profile (with theme, background etc.) in Friendster, but not in Facebook.