Friendster Launches Virtual Gifts and The Friendster Gift Shop
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ — Friendster, Inc., a top global web site based on traffic, today announced the launch of virtual gifts and the Friendster Gift Shop, which is the first in a series of forthcoming products utilizing the new Friendster Wallet, enabling over 115 million Friendster users to buy and send gifts to one another. The gift shop will initially launch in Malaysia via a “Gifts” button in the header navigation bar at the top of each web page on Friendster, and will be rolled out within weeks throughout Southeast Asia and globally.
The Friendster Gift Shop will support a variety of gifts and will enable the Friendster community to send gifts to one another, quickly and conveniently, as part of their Friendster experience. Friendster Gifts will be used to send personal gestures of kindness, commend others on significant accomplishments, and recognize friends and family on special days, like birthdays, and just for fun. A variety of gift themes are supported and more will be added over time. Currently, users can choose from virtual birthday gifts, collectible gifts, greeting gifts, premium gifts, romance gifts, seasonal gifts, thank you gifts and more.
Friendster is launching the gift shop with hundreds of gifts. Initially, some gifts are free to give using Friendster Chips, Friendster’s non-monetary, promotional currency. In a few weeks, Friendster will add Friendster Coins, Friendster’s monetary currency, where one US dollar equals 1,000 Friendster Coins. Many of the gifts range in price between 200-500 Friendster Coins.
All gifts are accompanied by a note, allowing the sender to add a personal message to the gift. When gifts are sent, they arrive wrapped for the recipient, which makes unwrapping the gift more fun and exciting and reminiscent of the real world experience. Recipients can choose to display the gifts they have received on their Friendster profile in their Treasure Chest module, a new, special section of the Friendster profile page for a user’s favorite gifts. Additionally, premium gifts will automatically be displayed in the Treasure Chest for seven days, for all friends and family to see.
“The Friendster Gift Shop will give our users a number of great new ways to celebrate special occasions and accomplishments with friends and family on Friendster surrounding events at school, work, home–or just to say hello in a fun, unique way,” said Ben Dunn, vice president, Philippines and global head of brand experience at Friendster. “As public displays of affection are an important part of the culture in Southeast Asia, Friendster is in the perfect position to make gift giving even more visible and easier for our millions of users.”
Before Friendster users can send gifts, users must create their Wallet by logging into Friendster and clicking on the Wallet link in the upper right of any page. This is a quick, but necessary, step for security purposes so that each user can select a second password called a Wallet Key to keep their Wallet secure. Friendster will give each user 1,500 free Chips upon creating their wallet. These complimentary 1,500 Chips will allow each user to send gifts to friends and family while learning how easy the Friendster Gift Shop is to use. After users have spent the free Chips, users can send more gifts by either earning more Chips through participation in special promotions, or by buying Coins.
Given the relatively low credit card penetration in most of Southeast Asia, Friendster enables users to purchase Friendster Coins via several alternate payment options, especially pre-paid “top-up” cards which can be purchased at readily-accessible convenience stores such as 7-Eleven throughout Southeast Asia. Users can buy a physical pre-paid card at thousands of offline locations with cash, and then enter the unique code from the card into the Friendster Wallet to receive the money as credit into his or her account. Friendster will store account balances allowing users to purchase gifts, and in the near future, to spend on online games and other offerings. Coming soon, users will also be able to purchase pre-paid cards for friends and send coins to others as gifts. The Friendster Wallet is powered via a partnership with MOL AccessPortal Berhad (MOL), a leading payments provider leveraging a network of over 500,000 physical and virtual payment channels worldwide.
“Giving gifts on Friendster will be the first time many of our users buy and give gifts online. We’re excited to be part of that experience for so many as they use our network to reach out to friends and family locally and globally in a special way,” said Dunn.
With more than 115 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. Friendster is one of the best sites that allow people to meaningfully participate with others in exciting and fun ways. Friendster prides itself in delivering an easy-to-use, friendly and interactive environment where users can easily connect with anyone around the world via www.friendster.com or m.friendster.com from any Internet-ready mobile device. Friendster has a growing portfolio of patents granted to the company on social networking, with more expected over the next several months. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Friendster is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, IDG Ventures and individual investors. For more information, visit: www.friendster.com.
SOURCE Friendster, Inc.