RealTime IT News

Friendster Google Searches For Profitability

Social network Friendster today announced a multi-year deal that makes Google the exclusive provider of search and advertising for the one-time market leader. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Google's advertising has already been implemented globally and is live on the site today. Google search integration is targeted for Q2 of this year. Though Google will become the exclusive provider of Friendster's "search the web" functionality, search within the Friendster profiles and website itself remain outside of Google's purview.

In an email to internetnews.com a Friendster spokesperson said the deal will be a "key component" in Friendster's ability to "rise again" as a leader in the social network industry it helped spawn. The spokesperson said with the help of Google's contextual keyword advertising and search advertising on the site, Friendster is better positioned for growth toward profitability.

Friendster's social network competitors MySpace and Facebook both signed similar search and advertising deals in August 2006. In a deal that solved what were becoming serious monetization problems for MySpace, the social network's parent company News Corp. traded Google exclusive rights to sell advertisements and provide search for the site in exchange for $900 million over three years.

Only a few weeks later, Google rival Microsoft inked a deal with MySpace rival Facebook to become the exclusive provider of brand advertising and sponsored links on the Facebook social network.