Friendster, one of the original players in the social networking arena, is changing the nature of its business to focus more on games and entertainment. Hence, all profile data that Friendster has been saving over the years will be deleted as of May 31, 2011, according to reports.
Want to save some personal history? Your old profile information, as well as your comments, pictures, messages, blogs and groups, can be extracted using the Friendster Exporter.
Friendster is not deleting accounts, it is just stripping them of rich information that is presumably more onerous to store than basic profile facts. In the Friendster help forum the company outlines how to use the Friendster Exporter.
"If you do not wish to keep all this history or information, then you do not need to do anything. Whether you use the Exporter or not, your Friendster account will not be deleted. Your list of friends will be preserved, along with your basic profile information. Your wallet and games details will also remain unchanged," the company wrote.
The Exporter tool will download your information as a .zip file or you can send your photos to Flickr, Photobucket or Multiply.
Friendster was acquired for $40 million in 2009 by MOL Global. The company is the owner of a payment service provider that powers mostly game payments in Southeast Asia. The move to more online gaming and entertainment makes more sense for MOL Global than archiving a stagnant social network.
Friendster was not a service whose idea was "ahead of its time." Friendster was just first. It was specifically of its time and, in retrospect to what has come afterward, not particularly refined. It was never a juggernaut even if it did have a substantial following. As one ReadWriteWeb reporter said this morning upon hearing the news; "Oh, that is sad. Wait, what was Friendster again?"