ITV brands Friends Reunited re-launch a success – but where are the missing 12 million?

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Perhaps the era when old media companies bought new social networks is now over? Why? Because an old media company has now re-made a social network on its own – and it appears to be working. After a fashion. The company in question is ITV, and the network is Friends Reunited. ITV says today that Friends Reunited has hit what it describes as “record numbers”, or 6.6m unique users across its network of sites.

The latest figures from Nielsen show that since the re-launch in May this year the number of unique users “has doubled” to 6.6 million users over the course of July, with 5.5 million visiting regularly.

Mind you, that is still well short of the 19 million registered members Friends Reunited has. But ITV/FR are saying the soc net attracts a rather slower moving older populatoin. Over 11 million of those users are over 35 and with an average user age of 42. Perhaps the rest just haven’t logged back in yet?

  • james

    You’d expect some uptick in traffic as they invested a lot in an upgraded site, went from a paid to free model and increased marketing spend. Not sure this counts as a success yet … plus they acquired the core site – it is only the recent upgrade that was an organic development.

  • ed

    I’m not a power user of Friends Reunited, but I did receive a marketing email informaing me of the change and inviting me back to log in and take a look around.

    CLearly, this technique hasn’t worked for the 12 million registered users who received the email but didn’t log in. I’m not sure I’d call that a success.

  • Ross Williams

    I’m really surprised to hear this – we used to compete against their Friends Reunited Dating product and this has really dropped off our radar in recent months, I thought they were giving up on the acquisition.

    So few non web people can make a .com acquisition work (or most acquisitions for that matter) I’d be delighted if they did – but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    The strength of Friends Reunited, particularly among the mature audience, is that it’s trusted. Bebo and MySpace for the kids, Facebook for the twenty and thirty-somethings – maybe Friends Reunited has a space in the UK for over 40s?


  • ewagb

    I’ve been spammed about ten times urging me to log in and check out the updated version.
    It’s confused, page links not always working, no special features, poor design and phraseology, and really not offering anything substantial or new.
    I dread to think how much was invested but surely for a fraction they could have come up with some original ideas and programming.
    It was the original leader/ innovator but I think it will die a slow and reluctant death.
    Unless, of course…

  • Martin Montague

    Been a job half done IMO, the site is very boring to use and the flow of the pages is painful to use in places. I expect this big budget development job has been sanitised as there is no flare shown at all. Its hard trying to kick something half dead back to life though but I guess a big wedge in the bank takes the pressure off a bit.

  • Kral oyun

    danke so fiele.

  • Doug Monro

    Just did some Stato-style digging into this – for what it’s worth:

    -Nielsen NetRatings says 4 million visitors to Friends Reunited in July, so I don’t know where the 6 comes from. It is way up since May though, and the activity metrics look OK (>2 sessions per person, 10+ minutes on site) although declining.
    -Page views are still down vs Sept/Oct 07
    -They also have a 28% audience overlap with

    Think once the spamming scales back these stats will surely return to their long term decline. A sanguine lesson for those who seek to build a viral web business “to last”.

  • Pete White

    The site had a huge marketing campaign on prime time ITV1 over the past couple of months as well.

  • chris proctor

    Why can’t I log in to friendsreunited?
    It seems to have disappeared from my favourites.
    Any techies from the site owners care to explain?

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