Friends Reunited returns with new design, new purpose

27 Mar 2012

UK social networking site Friends Reunited has been relaunched as a memory engine – going beyond rediscovering old classmates to be a place for favourite memories and moments, starting with 10m items including 6m photos.

Using the tagline “not just old school” the relaunched Friends Reunited goes live today as a beta version aimed at transporting users back to their favourite moments via a set of thumbnail images, videos and memorabilia.

Emphasising privacy, parent company Brightsolid said users can share these memories with a few trusted friends or publicly.

Friends Reunited was launched in 2000 as the UK’s first social network and ITV bought it in 2005.

Brightsolid then bought Friends Reunited in 2010. Brightsolid pioneers sharing the past online through genealogy businesses, and more recently with the British Newspaper Archive, launched in November last year in partnership with the British Library.

Remember Freddie Mercury in 1985?

The CEO of Brightsolid Chris van der Kuyl said the site will start with 10m publicly available images from launch, including 6m photos, 2m events and 2m places, with the intention of transporting users back to their favourite moments, such as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury at Live Aid in 1985.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to provide a uniquely nostalgic experience for the UK mainstream that’s not only entertaining and engaging, but powerful and lasting, too,” van der Kuyl said.

“Nowhere else can you find a single place to search, collect and save the bigger, more important moments in your life, memories which, in today’s digital world, are in danger of slipping through your fingers. We need to protect our precious and shared memories for longevity, which the new site enables you to do, or we’re at risk of becoming the lost generation,” van der Kuyl said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years