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Friendster, Inc. (http://www.friendster.com) today announced that Friendster.com is available in Traditional Chinese, allowing Friendster users and visitors a choice of either English or Traditional Chinese languages to navigate the site, enter content and use Friendster's complete set of social networking features.
Focused on helping people stay in touch with friends as well as discover new people and things that are important to them, Friendster is the third largest branded online social network in the world and the largest social network in the Asia Pacific region. Friendster has over 50 million registered users globally and over 27.4 million monthly unique visitors as of August 2007.(1) In the Asia Pacific region, Friendster has over 35 million registered users and 23 million monthly unique visitors as of August 2007.(1) Friendster is a top-100 Web site in 17 countries on four continents, with active users in more than 75 countries.
"Until now, Friendster.com has only been available in English, yet Friendster is the No. 1 social network in the Asia Pacific region and the 14th largest Web property in the world in terms of traffic," said David Jones, vice president of marketing for Friendster. "Launching traditional Chinese will help Friendster continue to grow rapidly. We have a large number of Chinese-speaking users on Friendster that would like the choice to enter their content and use the site in Traditional Chinese. Additionally, countless users are looking forward to inviting Chinese friends and family to join them on Friendster," said Jones.
Friendster has implemented multi-language support on a single domain -- Friendster.com -- to promote communication and interaction among English and Chinese speakers globally. A large percentage of friend networks on Friendster cross borders and continents, requiring this new multi-language support to be implemented in a single, global Web site and user experience. While other social networking sites create separate sites for different countries and make it difficult or impossible to have international friend networks, Friendster is the first global online social network to employ this approach to allow and encourage multi-cultural exchange and communications among users around the world who are interested in doing so.
Users can permanently or temporarily set their language of choice via links at the top right of every page of the Friendster.com Web site or via the "Settings" link.
As part of this site enhancement, users can enter content in any language into their Friendster profile and communications features. This is important in the long term, as 69 percent of Internet users in the world do not use English. Research reveals that there is a segment of users that understand English well enough to navigate a Web site, but still prefer to communicate on and off Friendster in another language.
Traditional Chinese is a logical extension for Friendster as a rapidly growing and global social network. Chinese is the second most popular language on the Internet, representing 16 percent of all Internet users, or 184 million individuals. Chinese has one of the highest growth rates of the top ten languages used on the Internet.(2) Friendster currently has millions of users across regions where Traditional Chinese is used, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan. Friendster also has users in most established overseas Chinese communities such as those in the United States, Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia (excluding Singapore).
"Finishing support for Chinese will expand Friendster's addressable market by 50 percent to over half a billion Internet users, or 47 percent of all Internet users globally," said Jones.
@@start.t1@@ Top Ten Languages Used on the Web(2)
(Number of Internet Users by Language)
TOP TEN Internet Language
LANGUAGES % of All Users by Internet Growth on the
ON THE Internet Language Penetration Internet
INTERNET Users (Millions) by Language (2000 - 2007)
English 31.2 % 366 17.9 % 158 %
Chinese 15.7 % 184 13.6 % 470 %
Spanish 8.7 % 102 22.9 % 311 %
Japanese 7.4 % 86 67.1 % 83 %
French 5.0 % 59 15.3 % 385 %
German 5.0 % 59 61.1 % 113 %
Portuguese 4.0 % 47 20.2 % 525 %
Korean 2.9 % 34 45.6 % 79 %
Italian 2.7 % 31 52.9 % 138 %
Arabic 2.5 % 29 8.5 % 940 %
LANGUAGES 85.0 % 998 19.3 % 204 %
Rest of World
Languages 15.0 % 175 12.4 % 440 %
WORLD TOTAL 100.0 % 1,173 17.8 % 225 %@@end@@
With more than 50 million members worldwide, Friendster is a leading global online social network. Friendster is focused on helping people stay in touch with friends and discover new people and things that are important to them. Online adults, 18 and up, choose Friendster to connect with friends, family, school, social groups, activities and interests. Friendster prides itself in delivering a clean, user-friendly and interactive environment where users can easily connect with anyone around the world. Friendster has a growing portfolio of patents granted to the company on social networking, with more expected over the next several months. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Friendster is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and individual investors. For more information, visit: http://www.friendster.com.
(1) comScore Media Metrix, August 2007
(2) InternetWorldStats.com, June 2007
Web site: http://www.friendster.com
ots Originaltext: Friendster, Inc.
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