Friendster founder launches social-news app, but will it fly?Posted: September 17, 2012
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Even if he never achieves anything world-changing again — which he is certainly hoping to do — Jonathan Abrams will always be remembered as the guy who founded Friendster, the very first web-based “social network.” Launched in 2002, a year before MySpace and two years before Facebook, the site became a superstar among digital early adopters but lost its way and was overtaken by its younger competitors. Now Abrams is hoping to reverse that chain of events with a new startup called Nuzzel, a socially driven news-filtering service he launched on Thursday. But while Friendster suffered from (among other things) being too early to the social party, Abrams’ new venture could suffer from the exact opposite problem: the social-news market is so saturated it may be difficult for Nuzzel to get much traction.
Before he started Friendster in 2002, Abrams had a couple of earlier startups that were also early to their respective markets, including a social-bookmarking service called Hotlinks, which the Canadian-born entrepreneur started after working for Netscape in the late 1990s — but it launched five years before Delicious became the hot social-bookmarking tool, and it eventually perished in the dot-com crash. Abrams then launched an event-planning site similar to Evite called Socializr, but it too failed to get much traction and was eventually sold in 2010.