It was one of the first examples of social networking sites that appealed to a mass market. Friends Reunited existed to initially let people find old school friends. And then, it seems, shag them. Reunions organised, marriages destroyed, and lawsuits started. It was a media friendly success story, but they decided to charge £5 for access to simple details like contacting people and it kind of faded away, but not before Britain’s leading commercial TV station ITV bought it for £175 million.
They must have seen the broadcaster coming.
Well, it’s been a bad time for the site of late. Although the charges were lifted, an attempt to marry the site with ITV’s website failed badly, and then things like MySpace, BeBo, Facebook and Twitter came along, did what it did better and the site kind of slunk away and hid.
Well, ITV have managed to get it off their hands for a mere £25 million to DC Thomson, publishers of, among other things, The Beano and The Dandy, two of the world’s longest running comic books.
DC Thomson is expected to combine the post popular part of Friends Reunited, Genes Reunited, a genology social networking application with their existing FindMyPast.com.
However I’d really like them to introduce a member of their comics cast to every school record in the country and have people looking baffled – “I went to school with Dennis The Menace? I don’t remember him and with that spiky hair and red and black stripy jumper, you’d have thought I would. Especially with that odd surname.”