“Not long ago, I was approached by the [new] Friends Reunited owners to see if I wanted to take it back and try some new projects with it,” Steve Pankhurst wrote in his email.
In the same week it was announced that the cast of Friends would be at least partially reuniting for television, the website Friends Reunited announced that it would be closing.
This prompted one of two reactions among that generation of people for whom Friends Reunited blazed a trail in revealing the myriad pleasures of online activity (in other words, the over-35s): a keen sense of nostalgia for the site that first realised the potential in using the internet not merely for email (or porn) but to find former friends and rekindle old flames; and a certain surprise that the website had still been limping on at all in an arena long since reimagined by younger bucks with more appealing alternatives.
Each site worked on the principle of user-generated content through which registered users were able to post information about themselves which could be searched by other users.
A double-blind email system allowed contact between users.
Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close the service down.” But Pankhurst, still richer than the average lottery winner, is now attempting what some would call a bold move, others reckless: a kind of Friends Reunited 2.0.
It's called Liife, which reads like a typo but isn't.
Friends Reunited was a portfolio of social networking websites based upon the themes of reunion with research, dating and job-hunting.
The first and eponymous website was created by a husband and wife team in the classic back bedroom internet start-up; it was the first online social network to achieve prominence in Britain, and it weathered the dotcom bust.
For many of us, it had been some time since we had even thought of it, much less revisited it.