Red Herring reports that Friendster has been granted a patent concerning entering a personal description and relationships to other users, mapping relationships and degrees of separation and connecting to others through these friends.
To be precise:
The Friendster patent’s main claim applies to networks that limit relationships to a certain number of degrees of separation - for example, you cannot connect to someone who doesn’t know someone who knows someone you know.Interestingly, the article makes mention of other patents:
Six Degrees of Separation, another failed social networking startup, had obtained a patent on social networking technology in 2001. It was bought at auction in 2003 by the founders of LinkedIn and Tribe.net.Note also that ol' Friendster, despite being too successful for its own good, resulting in dismal server performance, IS actually making money from ad sales in US and SMS in Asia (users pay to recieve alerts when users update their profile).