Formspring is an anonymous question and answer site. It was announced on March 15, 2013 that March 31, 2013 will be the last day its users can ask questions and respond to them. The site will still remain alive through April 15th for users to export their own data, after which the plug will be pulled for good.
As time went on, however, Formspring's death failed to arrive. On March 31, the following announcement appeared: [UPDATE 3/31/13 - Great news! We have a last-minute deal in the works that will help keep Formspring up. More details to follow in the coming week.]
In May, the following message appeared: [5/8/13 – Great news friends, Formspring has been saved and is now under new management. Get ready for some cool and exciting new features. Stay tuned for more updates and happy posting!!]
The site seems to still be up as of June 14, with no shutdown announcements looming.
On August 12, the site changed their name to spring.me.
As of December 5, the site is going through frequent updates, which all seem aimed at changing it from a question-and-answer site into yet another bland MySpace wannabe (while incidentally making it as user-unfriendly and unusable as possible).
On the 15th of March, Formspring announced that they'll be closing down the site on the 15th of April citing difficulties with maintaining the resources to keep the site up.
Formspring launched in November 2009 as a unique way for people to have engaging conversations about anything. Eventually reaching over 30 million registered users and 4 billion posts, Formspring grew beyond my wildest dreams to become an important part of how people interact online.
I’m grateful to each of you that helped make the site better by asking questions and posting responses. None of this would have been possible without you. Through the community you created, we’ve met new people, strengthened relationships, opened our minds to different points of view, and made each other smile.
Unfortunately, and with great sadness, I must announce that Formspring is shutting down. While we’ve had great success in reaching a broad audience, it’s been challenging to sustain the resources needed to keep the lights on.
Sunday, March 31st will be the last day you’ll be able to ask questions or post content on Formspring. You’ll be able to export your responses from now through Monday, April 15th, after which the site and apps will go offline, and any content will be permanently deleted.
You can export the responses you’ve posted by following these steps:
Thanks again for all the smiles.
- Log into your account and visit http://www.formspring.me/account/export
- Click the export button
- When your export is ready you’ll receive an email
- Visit http://www.formspring.me/account/export again to download a zip file with your data
Ade Olonoh, Founder and CEO.
"This Account Has Expired -- As of January 2013, accounts that have not been active in over 18 months may be automatically deleted. If this is your account, you may login within the next 24 hours to stop this account from being permanently deleted."
This message is all that is displayed when you attempt to view the profile of an account inactive for over 18 months. (It's unclear what the "24 hours" refers to, seeing as the message is still there even after two months. Of course, with Formspring imminently closing, it's unlikely its administration would bother with specifically deleting any accounts at this point.) Unfortunately, this means that many accounts are already lost.
The Formspring support has been asked about why hasn't a prior warning been issued to the users before January, and provided the following answers (quoted from private communication):
"The message is the announcement? We are giving everyone 24 hours warning..."
"It only affects accounts that have not been accessed in one and a half years... which is a long time for a user to completely ignore something that they might feel is valuable."
As of the recent redesign (November 2013) it seems that expired accounts are available for viewing once again.
We should redo the first 100 or so users, downloaded with the early versions of the script that didn't go to files-cdn.formspring.me
We should redo the users with 0-byte responses (probably the 15kB users).
It's undocumented, but every Formspring profile has an RSS feed associated with it: http://www.formspring.me/profile/(profile name).rss The feed contains the last 20 answers posted on the profile. Note that feeds are still available for expired accounts (see above), which means that at least a tiny part of them still exists.