Internet users of a certain age probably still have photos and comments and such kicking around on Friendster. If you want them saved, you'd better pay attention because the site is making itself over, and will delete them on May 31. The friendly folks at Friendster have developed a tool to export photos and other materials to users' computers or sites like Flickr.
That's nice, but many of us stopped using Friendster about eight years ago and since then have forgotten login information and even abandoned the e-mail accounts we registered under. Our accounts will be deleted, it seems, along with the embarrassing college photos they contain. Friendster's next move is to reinvent itself as an entertainment-based site, a bit like Myspace, but from the language in the company's announcement to users, it's hard to tell what that actually means. The plan is to focus the new site on Asian users, which makes sense because the site is now owned by MOL Global, a Malaysian company. TechCrunch got the memo:
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.
If you're among the throngs that haven't logged in for years but would like to check and see if there's anything to save, it may be too late. If you're still using the e-mail address with which you joined Friendster you can log in, but you must be able to confirm your identity by getting an e-mail from the company and opening a link in it. The upside to this news is that those who never got around to deleting their potentially incriminating profiles from years ago will now have them erased. The downside is that we no longer get to go on Friendster and find other people's embarrassing old posts and photos. Not even Mark Zuckerberg's.