The website was one of the first popular social networking sites in the UK, and after 15 years it is now being shut down.
At its peak, Friends Reunited gained 15 million users and was a way for people at the time to get in touch with old friends and acquaintances. For some, it had even formed relationships and marriages. The site which was sold to ITV in 2005 for £175 million was quickly pushed to the background as it couldn’t compete with successful networking sites such as Facebook, who gained 1billion users.
With the rise of social networking sites taking over the lives of many young people today, Facebook seems to be on the top of what many people can’t live without. Racheal Kamara, Students Union Communications Officer; stated that “people believe that they can reach everyone on these sites, and when that doesn’t work people start to get frustrated, when in fact it’s just a lazy way to communicate”. Kamara went on to say that these rising social websites “are taking over”.
A handful of students from the University of Brighton in Hastings Campus, said that they had never heard of Friends Reunited before and were more familiar to social sites such as Facebook, who were launched 4 years after.
Steve and Julie Pankhurst, the founders of Friends Reunited earned an estimate of £30 million from selling the site to ITV in 2005. Whilst many users have moved on from the UK’s once prominent social networking site, others say farewell.