First Friendster and now Google goes east

In December 2007, Mashable announced Friendster’s expansion to Korea and Japan. Time.com also reported on how Friendster found it’s sweet spot in Asia,

Thanks largely to an accident of geography, it’s become Southeast Asia’s top social networking site. Asia is home to three-quarters of Friendster’s 58 million users, compared to 17% in the U.S., and it’s the source of 89% of the site’s traffic, compared to just 8% from North America.

Now it’s Google’s turn to ‘go east’. Mashable reports that Airtel and Google have partnered to offer Google apps like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc.

Airtel Telemedia Services, India’s “largest private broadband and telephone service provider,” has announced its launch of a new Web portal (airtellive.com) in partnership with Google, who will be co-branding the effort. The company’s customers “will receive free access” to the software solutions held within the Google Apps suite, according to UNI.

I think this move makes all the sense in the world for Google, who faces intense competition on its home base and not to mention, it hasn’t been successful in monetizing any of its applications. By tying up with Airtel, it can increase the penetration and usage of its applications in the world’s second-most populace nation.

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