Friendster’s Marketing Faux-pas

By Exclusive Concepts Blog Team

Friendster caused some trouble recently by sending emails to people who never responded to a mailing last year. Even though the company initiated the mailing, the emails appeared to come from a friend of the recipient.

The move sparked outrage throughout the blogosphere. Steve from the Wren Forum, in a post titled I Hate Friendster, recounted:

So half an hour ago, Ken here at work asked me about Friendster and if he should join. He was asking because it seems I had sent an e-mail asking him to join. I never had, of course. Then I read an e-mail sent to me from someone else, saying he didn’t remember the first invite, but had gone ahead and joined thanks to this “reminder.???

Adam Finley also got the recycled invite:

I did in fact get “re-invited” to join Friendster recently. The e-mail seemed to imply I might have forgotten to join, when in fact I just didn’t feel like joining in the first place. Or, as Stephen Baker asks in Business Week, “Who says those people are still my friends?” I could think of about ten different ways for Friendster to improve itself, but spamming those who didn’t care to join in the first place isn’t one of them.

Erin Bradley called the move by Friendster “More desperate than a guy who’s come to the last page of his little black book.???

Friendster, if I send an invite to my friend to join your site, it doesn’t mean I’m giving you permission to use my identity in the future to build your membership.

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