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Friends Reunited Website Will Soon Close Down

By piranha

25th January 2016

For those who aren’t familiar, Friends Reunited was one of the first social networks to appear in the UK. It was set up in 2000 and at its peak managed to attract 23 million people to the platform.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the site will soon be closing down after it failed to keep with competing social media platforms, such as Facebook, which was released just 4 years later than Friends Reunited.

The main purpose of the platform was to find friends who you may have lost touch with, such as school mates, colleagues and distant relatives. You could choose to reconnect with these people or take a look at their profile to see what they were up to.

In 2005, Friends Reunited was sold to broadcaster ITV for £175m, which suggested it had promise in the UK. It was then bought by comic publisher DC Thomson in 2009 for just £25m, at a time when the site was struggling to appeal to its audience.

Friends Reunited was then offered back to its founder Steve Pankhurst in 2014 as a final attempt to save the site, which proved unsuccessful.

In a blog post, Pankhurst said; “It became clear that most of the actual users coming to the site were using it purely as a message board”

“I also realised, that of the 10m+ users registered, a lot had done so over a decade ago and hence their contact details were out of date. So even if you were coming to the site to find someone and wanted to contact them, how frustrating it must be to see them listed there and try to contact and then get no response.”

“But importantly — it hasn’t covered its costs and like any business this can’t continue indefinitely. Therefore, whilst it’s sad, I believe it’s time to move on and put Friends Reunited to bed. And I feel like I am the right person to do it.”

With more than 1.55 billion people accessing Facebook each month, it seems like Friends Reunited won’t be missed too much. Any new platform that wants to compete with the social media giant will need to offer something extremely special, otherwise it will suffer the same fate as Friends Reunited.

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