April 28, 2011

Friendster To Erase User Content On May 31

Way before Facebook, Youtube and Twitter dominated the Philippine social media scene, there was Friendster.  Launched in 2002, Friendster captured the Filipino audience and it came to a point where a huge population of Friendster users and content were coming from the Philippines.

By 2004 Friendster's popularity decreased in the United States but spurred growth in Southeast Asia. Friendster director of engineering Chris Lunt wondered why its web traffic was spiking in the middle of the night, and noticed that the traffic was coming from the Philippines. He then traced the trail to a Filipino-American marketing consultant and hypnotist named Carmen Leilani de Jesus as the first user to have introduced Friendster to the Philippines, where a number of her friends live.

Interesting Friendster stats show that in August 2008, Friendster had over 75 million registered users and was ranked the 9th largest website in terms of traffic and the 3rd largest social network.  In March 2008 alone, Friendster recorded 39 million unique visitors, with 13.2 million of whom were from the Philippines.

By the 3rd quarter of 2008, the top 15 countries accessing Friendster were the Philippines, Idonesia, Malaysia, USA, Singapore, Canada, India, Australia, UK, Hong Kong, Japan, United Arab Emirates, China, Taiwan and Korea.   The number of Asian countries made Friendster the #1 social network in Asia then with over 55 million registered users and double the size of any other social network in the continent.




World Map of Social Networks
A world map of social networks show that just within a span of a year from June 2009 to June 2010, the Philippines slowly transformed from Friendster country to Facebook country.

If you've invested heavily on posting personal content on your Friendster account or it just simply accumulated through the years, do not fear.  Friendster provides an app called "Friendster Exporter" which allows users to download all their personal data including profile information, friends list, photos, messages, testimonials, shoutouts, blogs and groups.   The result is a zip file with all your data.  There are also additional options to port content to Flickr or Multiply.

So it's time to logon one last time to Friendster (assuming you still remember your password), reminisce using this social network, look at your photos, testimonials and comments from several years ago, download everything for archive and bid farewell for now to our Social Media friend, Friendster.

Friendster states that they plan to reinvent themselves focusing more on entertainment.  With the juggernaut social network Facebook dominating the current social media scene in the Philippines, we have yet to see how this plays out.

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