Friendster rethinks site, will nuke users' info

People who use the social networking pioneer have until May 31 to retrieve their photos, blogs and messages

If you have any pictures on Friendster you want to keep, you better grab them now.

The social networking pioneer, which has fallen to second-rate status in a world where Facebook and Twitter dominate, announced on Tuesday that it's making some significant changes to the site that won't include all the data users have stored there.

Friendster sent an email to users and posted some information on its site today, noting that it's working on launching a "new and improved" site in coming weeks.

Users' accounts will not be deleted but their messages, blogs and photos will all be disappearing. Users have until May 31 to retrieve anything they want to keep.

Fear not. Friendster has supplied users with an exporter application that will help them download their content or move it to another social networking site.

Friendster, which was popular in the days prior to the meteoric rise of Facebook, is making the change to its site to focus more on entertainment, the company says.

"There will be new features that will leverage on your online activities and will enable you to connect with friends or engage new friends with similar interests," Friendster noted. "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."

The company even said the redesigned site will "complement" users' presences on other social networks.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is

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