Social networking site FriendsReunited, used as a tool for people to find their old friends from their school days, has closed its doors after 15 years.
The site was launched in 2000, by British husband and wife Steve and Julie Pankhurst, along with friend, Jason Porter.
The site grew to be one of the largest in the UK, and in 2005, the founders sold the website to ITV for £175 million.
“In 2005 we sold the site and moved on. We watched from a distance whilst other sites came and went but for some, social networking became ingrained in our life and is here to stay,” said Steve Pankhurst.
“During that time FriendsReunited declined. Despite efforts to reverse this trend it couldn‘t compete with the giant services like Facebook.”
In 2009, the social media site was sold on to Scotland based publishers DC Thomson, for £25 million.
DC Thomson recruited Pankhurst ‘to see if I wanted to take it back and try some new projects with it’.
“It was evident that putting the site back to be more like its original form was not a service people would get excited about using again. The site is still used by a handful of members however it has become clear that the site is no longer really used for the purpose it was built for. For the site to continue it needs a complete re-write and this is just not viable,” he said.
A decision was therefore taken to close the service down, which will commence in the next month.
FriendsReunited said that it will provide a link to allow members to login and download their photos. “You will be receiving an email in the coming months with further information on this.”
Pankhurst said that while FriendsReunited is closing, he has decided to launch a new service called Liife – ‘Turning moments into memories’.
Liife claims to be ‘a new way for you to tell the story of your life through the important moments you experienced and the friends you shared them with’.