Remember Friendster? One time we met someone on Friendster, a date, in fact, and we went to a vegan restaurant in the West Village (not that we were vegan), and we ate something that looked like meat but wasn’t, and was really weirdly chewy, and then we never spoke to said “date” again? Another time, on Friendster, we wrote all about the books and music and movies we loved, cleverly, and we posted pictures of our half-faces, and, basically, we were annoying.
But that is okay, because Friendster is where we learned some valuable social media lessons, like not to go to vegan restaurants with strangers, even if they’re connected via other friends, and that no one really cares what we think about Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or War and Peace, and that we should be careful about what we do on the Internet, because it will inevitably come back to haunt us, or, at the very least, make us feel awkward.
One time, one of our friends tried to combat Friendster with his own social media site, which we can’t even remember the name of now, because it was not Facebook. At that time, Friendster won the battle. But Friendster is not laughing now, because Friendster, the site with a name arguably dumber than Facebook, the site that eventually became the butt of its own Internet joke, is pulling its own plug.
As of May 31, Friendster will be shutting down (or, at least, becoming something else more “entertainment-focused” and less “you-focused”), going the way of the things that came before, like DOS and printer paper with holes and typewriters and dinosaurs. If you still happen to have a Friendster account, you should log on and laugh, and recover any important things that might still be there, because most of it will be deleted at the end of May.
On the help forum, 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.
Fortunately, we wiped out our accounts years ago. But we’d still like to thank you, Friendster. If not for you, we would probably be updating our Facebook profile with a really embarrassing photo right now, or maybe attempting to chew soy chicken with a stranger. You taught us so much! We’ll never forget that.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 26, 2011