Philippines: ‘Goodbye Friendster’

The news that pioneer social networking site is headed towards a major overhaul in a few months’ time grabbed headlines and became a trending topic amongst Filipino netizens.

And it shouldn't be a surprise as the Philippines once became famous for being a nation. Well that was back in 2003 to 2007 and before Facebook, Twitter and other more popular social networking sites today came to the scene.

Instead of shock, disbelief and even resistance to the news that their once favorite social networking site was about to suffer some sort of demise, virtually all Filipinos bloggers and netizens simply re-echoed the message from the Friendster team that users who value their content or data on the site should begin exporting it before everything else is wiped out after May 31.

However, there's still a hint of sadness and nostalgia amongst them.

Roy had the impression that Friendster has given up against the reigning king of social networking media Facebook:

So, do you think Friendster has accepted its fate and would no longer want to go head-to-head with Facebook?

Oh well, thank you very much Friendster. We do have good memories together.

Carlo Dimaandal had a bittersweet moment upon learning of the news that Friendster is about to do a reboot:

Friendster is ditching some of its social media functionalities in favor of a more entertainment-based platform. Some people really don't care. But for the nostalgia freak like me, there is an option to download user data (tulad nung mga testi na ipinagmakaawa mo pa! :) ) or export them to other services. This is where I saw what I think was a “tampo” moment.

Pinoy Social Media gave a brief history of how Friendster struck it big with Filipinos back in its hey day with some statistics saying that the Philippines was the number one on the list of top 15 countries accessing Friendster back in 2008. However, all that changed when in just a year, the country converted to Facebook.

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.

For Grace Abonillo, the nostalgia wasn't just because of socializing online via Friendster, it was the origins of her addiction to social networking sites:

Few days ago, I read this news that Friendster will come to an end. I didn’t mind at all, for I am no longer using it since 2007.

But I came to a realization that it is where it all began, my addiction to social networking sites. First it was, then and then came facebook. I started using FS(Friendster) when I was in college, circa 2002. Became an addicted user with lots of updates everyday.

Suddenly, I just get tired of it, and started using multiply and facebook in the early 2003 or 2004. But facebook was so complicated to use then, that’s why I stuck with multiply.

Pepe Alas sums up the nostalgia in an upbeat mood where he succinctly describes why the news of Friendster's reboot:

Many Friendster-turned-Facebook addicts (like me!) have been expecting this for a long time. But this news is still a shocker, for Friendster is already a part of Filipino pop culture. Other than that, the Philippines is Friendster’s largest market.

It was good while it lasted.

Rico at Technograph already looks ahead and wonders what the future holds for Friendster:

What exactly does Friendster mean by “social entertainment”? When I accidentally visited the Friendster login page while writing about the Friendster profile downloader, I noticed that the login was surrounded by advertisements for Friendster’s different games. Does this mean that the original social network will now present itself as an online gaming portal?

So here it is, the passing of another era in Philippine Internet history, the demise of Friendster, once the only social networking site Filipinos knew.


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