April 26, 2011 at 3:15 PM ET
Digital hoarders who wish to retain mementos of their first all-consuming social network (outside of Nerve.com's dating site) should make a trip over to Friendster and clear out their digital lockers before May 31. "The company is asking all users to install a custom application to export all their profile data, as most of it will be unequivocally deleted on May 31, 2011," reports Tech Crunch.
Friendster encourages all users to use the "Friendster Exporter" app to download or export their profile information, friends list, photos, messages, comments, testimonials, shoutouts, blogs and groups. Options include porting content to Flickr or Multiply.
On May 31, Friendster will move to wipe out all photos, blogs, comments and groups uploaded or created by its users. The company will, however, keep all accounts alive, along with user friends lists, games details and basic profile information.
Launched in 2002, Friendster gained hundreds of thousands of followers before it gave way to that glitter gif-littered has-been social network of the future, MySpace. Friendster had puny servers and it constantly crashed, but it was awesome while it lasted.
U.S. citizens formerly of Friendster may be surprised to hear that it's still quite popular in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Those Americans who continue to receive Friendster notifications about foreign ladies looking for "friendship," are maybe not so surprised.
At any rate, Malaysian payments company MOL Global aquired Friendster at the end of 2009 for a reported $40 million, and now plans to turn it into an entertainment and games hub catering to Asian users. Which, as TechCrunch points out, "sounds exactlylike Myspace when they started feeling the Facebook heat for real." (Except for the catering-to-Asians part.)
As a Friendster early-adopter, I can't help but get misty-eyed.
"Friendster will be back ... and use Facebook Connect," pointed out my co-worker Rosa Golijan, who, notably, is too young to have ever used Friendster. "It'll be like a social networking 'Inception,' " Golijan added in a valiant attempt to comfort and/or mess with me.
"Insert 'yo dawg, I hear you like social networks so I put a social network inside your social network so that you can poke' joke here."
Kids. They don't get real loss.
I can't even retort with a snappy, "Wait til this happens to your precious Facebook!" because honestly, I don't believe Facebook —that Madonna of social networks — will meet the fate or Friendster, MySpace and especially not Orkut. (Remember Orkut!?!) It'll be a long time before the Lady Gaga of social networks comes around because, like Madonna, Facebook knows how to ... you know ... blah blah blah ...
Excuse the hackneyed pop singer metaphor. I'm just ... a little choked up.
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