Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friendster: Is it even worth mentioning?

Whether you knew it or not, Friendster, one of the social networks most of us may have been addicted to in the past (in addition to the ole MySpace), is shifting its course. I mean by 'shift' by a BIG shift. The word 'social' is still attached to its name. However, add 'gaming and music' to it and voila ~ social entertainment at your service. It would be the future of the said social networking website. I do not want to sound biased on this post but - do we even bother to care?

Around 2007, Friendster spread like wildfire on the online social world. It became the most visited site on the Philippines three years ago. That's a historical fact (because there's historical fiction, there's also historical fact so I'm not being redundant). It was like the Asian version of MySpace. It has become a trend asking your school mates of their Friendster accounts then asking for Testimonials (or 'testi' as what most say it). I can explicitly say that it was like what Facebook is today.

What has been the downfall of Friendster?

As what we all know, unlike on Facebook, we can customize how our profile looks on Friendster. We can tweak the CSS and add cursor designs, marquees, your favorite artist as the background, and the list goes on. We can also choose whether we want to see who viewed our profile and others will see you viewed theirs when you visited their profile, or be an anonymous surfer but you wouldn't be able to see who viewed yours.

To get it straight, I really loathed Friendster. Why, you ask? It's not because of the ways on how to socialize on Friendster nor how we can customize it, the site just had so many errors that are enough to detonate an atomic bomb.

If you remembered, we could post on the bulletin board. I often encountered errors after submitting my post and all the things I typed - gone in an instant. I also hated (yes, I used that word) the groups feature where you get tons of errors before you could even compose something anyone could read.

Also, the messaging system is irritating (another explicit word there). However uninteresting a message seems to be, you are obligated to look at it for it to be marked as read. And you just couldn't manage all the messages properly because you encountered errors most of the time. And it's so hard to browse because they're confident enough to be static for most of the users are so addicted that they don't even care whether they would wait for a new page to load on just everything you do on Friendster.

That was why I shifted to Facebook. I created my Facebook around January 2008 and all I did there was to play games. If you've managed to encounter the now-dead Boxes, those were the times. Since I joined Facebook, I pledged myself never to open my Friendster account ever again.

The fact that they even copied some of Facebook's features* when they did the major renovation to their design, just added to my distaste. You know, from their old logo and interface to the greeny logo with a distorted smiley. (I remembered it was purple before it turned green.) Maybe they were testing colors that has an effect with the users. (They say the color red and yellow makes you hungry.) So what does purple did to affect the users? I don't know. How about green? Hmmm, I also don't know.

* It's obvious.

Lately, they stated in an announcement that they'll be deleting EVERYTHING on every accounts on Friendster. Not the accounts, but the things you uploaded and saved (photos, comments, statuses) because those features won't be available on the new Friendster.) BUT. There is a big BUT. You can download all the information you posted on Friendster and have the option to export them to Multiply or Flickr.

What is their agenda?

Do they want its previous active users who had long abandoned their Friendster profiles to go back and check their profile and reminisce the old memories with Friendster? (Whoa. I said it straight.)

That was the first thing that came to my mind. But they are actually just changing courses. (+ 5 kind points)

And so I opened my Friendster again after all these years, looked at the things I did three years ago, and chuckle at the stupid things I posted when I was sixteen. Friendster memories? They're not of a great significance compared to memories in the real world.

The export feature is great if you have used Friendster as your online photo galleries of the happenings of your life. Good thing I didn't do that.

P.S. If you're mocking the title, I really don't want to post anything related to Friendster. Who wants an old dude on their backyard? But since I have so many things I want to say about Friendster, this will be the last time I'll ever have to do something related to it.

But whoa, you'll never know when Friendster might reign again. But I've long since abandoned playing games on social networks. And my fave bands already have their profiles on MySpace.

Good luck, Friendster.

Link to the exporter:

Visit for more info.

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