Skip to main content

Friendster apocalypse begins on May 31, all user photos, blogs and more to be deleted

1Friendster logo

Before there was Facebook, before there was MySpace even, there was Friendster. Jonathan Abrams and Peter Chin launched their social network in 2002 — not that we knew what such things were at the time — and the revolution that followed has gone on to change the world in some fundamental ways. As the first player on the scene, the service was quickly improved upon by the aforementioned competitors; people continue to use it, but in many ways, Friendster has grown outdated.

And it’s about to change.

The site’s registered members have been getting e-mails (via TechCrunch) informing them that large portions of user profile data will be deleted from the site next month, on May 31. A custom application has been created, which users are urged to install so they can back up their content.

The May 31 D-day will see all user photos, blogs, comments and groups wiped away, though individual user accounts will remain, as will basic profile data, friends lists and games details. The Friendster Exporter app handle the backup, allowing users to download their profile information or export it to portals like Flickr.

The changes are being made in order to pave the way for the next generation of Friendster, which the company offers a brief description on: “Our improved site is designed to create new profiles that allow you to connect differently with people and do things differently than other networking sites. Basically, the new site will complement your existing online presence in other social networking sites.”

Friendster is still quite popular, with more than 115 million registered users and the distinction of being included among the top 1,000 global websites. A large portion of the site’s traffic these days comes from Asia. Will any of the planned changes draw users in other parts of the world back? Time will tell. Facebook has carved out a pretty well-fortified niche for itself however; the thing about social networking is, once you’re set up, and all of your friends are set up, with profiles, why go to the trouble of establishing yourself elsewhere? The new Friendster plan, of complementing “your existing online presence in other social networking sites” is the right move. The “How?” is going to be what sells it or not in the end though.

The site re-launch is expected to go live in the coming weeks.

Editors' Recommendations

Adam Rosenberg
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Previously, Adam worked in the games press as a freelance writer and critic for a range of outlets, including Digital Trends…
MySpace re-signs with Google for search and ads
MySpace Logo (Nov 2010)

News Corp's music-focused social networking service MySpace has inked a multi-year renewal of its search and advertising deal with Google that will see Google powering MySpace's on-site search as well as serving up display advertising to MySpace users and visitors. Financial terms of the new agreement were not disclosed—and is likely much smaller than the original agreement, which ran $900 million—but the deal opens up MySpace to participating in the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Ad Exchange, as well as handling search-based advertising for searches executed on MySpace.

"We're thrilled about renewing our partnership with Google," said MySpace chief revenue officer Nada Stirratt, in a statement. "Their best-in-class technology will continue to provide our consumers with a robust search experience."

Read more
Twitter’s US growth comes to a halt

A Pew study recently released news that only 8 percent of Americans use Twitter, and new data is suggesting that the site’s US user growth is slowing. A recent comScore report shows that Twitter drew over a million fewer unique visitors than it did last month.

While its US presence might be stalling, Twitter is still globally growing. This year, Twitter added 46 million accounts worldwide (take note, only around six million of those new users were in the US). And the site experienced a considerable amount of success in Japan, easily besting Facebook's numbers.

Read more
FTC proposes plan to stop web tracking

The US Federal Trade Commission is trying to make Web advertisers’ jobs much more difficult. The FTC is proposing legislature that would adopt the same principles of the “do-not-call” list that disables telemarketers and apply them to the Internet. The institution released a privacy report this morning outlining these plans and establishing the need for them, since as it stands there is no online option for consumers to opt-out of being tracked.

The report argues that there is a need “to create better tools to allow consumers to control the collection and use of their online browsing data.” Citing failure of self-regulation, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz has long championed the privacy of consumers, dating back to 2007 when he lobbied for a “do-not-track” list, which advertisers loudly opposed. This camp argues that a “do-not-track” list won’t decrease online ad targeting, only make it useful or effective for an individual.

Read more