The rise and fall of Friends Reunited, the social network that inspired Facebook

The rise and fall of Friends Reunited, the social network that inspired Facebook

Barnett is a neighborhood of approximately four million residents in the north of the City of London. within a suburban neighborhood like so green belt London, where the football club, Barnet FC, plays in the fifth division of the English league.

An entire ocean is covered between Barnett and Silicon Valley, and the four years that made the difference: When Mark Zuckerberg was a little over fifteen, Julie and Steve Pankhurst launched friends Reunited, Between 1999 and 2000, when the Internet began to add hundreds of millions of users, they made UK’s first social network With the aim of reuniting with his high school friends. An underdone font and a lean site, framed by flashing banners and stock images of people of all ages. “Are you trying to organize a school reunion but don’t know how to reach out to your old friends?” You can read on the homepage accessible through wayback machine Internet Archive.

Registration on the social network was free and each new user providing name, school, email address increased the database of subscribers more and more. Each month in the “Success Stories” section the user’s thoughts or a particular memory of a past during the school period are reported. There are those who say that they met their best friend again in elementary school after more than twenty years, who say they met her for the first time.

Screenshot of the Friendsreunited.co.uk website, viewed via The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine

English politics for the first time on social networks

friends Reunited is a service invented without much pretense, The first drawing on the white sheet of the social network From which the blue giant Facebook has taken inspiration on several occasions. In the spring of 2005, the UK is preparing for the general elections and the popularity of the friends Reunited This also extends to the seats of the English Parliament. The leader of the Liberal Democrats at the time, Charles Kennedy, subscribed to the “political” version of the social network, which allowed candidates to create a profile and get in touch with the reference community. In MPs meet again “A “swingometer” records each time a candidate’s profile is clicked. On Tuesday 19 April, Labor candidates received the opinion of 38.1% of voters, Conservatives 28.9%, Liberal Democrats 22.3%”.

The social network had begun to enter politics and vice versa, as Steve Pankhurst writes in a news article on the site, “After all, most people are probably more interested in discovering the musical tastes of their candidates.Instead of making them listen again to the party line on big issues MPs meet again was Tony BlairOf which it is no longer possible to see the social profile but we do know who was the winner of the election in May 2005.

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