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ITV has sold Friends Reunited for £25m, despite having paid £175m for it. The buyer is Brightsolid Limited, which is owned by DC Thomson, Dundee-based publisher of comics such as the Beano.
Friends Reunited was launched in July 2000 from the spare bedroom of Steve and Julie Pankhurst's home in North London. Its model of helping people to find old friends from their old schools, colleges or clubs attracted millions of users to the site. But more recently, it has been overtaken by social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
I don't know about 'more recently'. Their problem is that they wanted to charge for participation - add your details for free, but if you want to interect with members/friends, you had to pay.
Once everyone had gotten over the initial novelty of the site, and the media hype (of which there was plenty, including a number of TV programmes) died down, there was nothing left but loads of half finished user profiles from infrequent visitors who didn't want to pay to effectively send someone an email.
Then, of course, social networking sites exploded, and all of them offering free services. Changing eventually to a 'free' business model came too late - nearly everyone had deserted Friendsreunited by then.
I still pop in there but I appear to be the only one in the schools and years I browse through every few months or so.
Wonder what the new owners will do with it..?
The Internet is constantly evolving. Who knows what is going to be the big thing a year or two down the line? It's crazy to put large sums of money into stuff like this. They would be much better getting a team of clever kids together and paying them to come up with original ideas. You could pay a lot of clever kids for £150M. ;)
Most recently, think Google and YouTube, but I remember when Borland bought Wordperfect and nearly went bankrupt as a result. That was back in the early nineties but I bet there are examples going back centuries if you look for them.