Friday, 18 January 2008

Friends Reunited: yesterday's news

I caught a headline in the Marketing trade journal this week - it was not that hard as it was the main splash on the front page: "ITV prepares rebrand of Friends Reunited portal". My immediate thought was "who cares?", in yoof vernacular isn't Friends Reunited "so over".

What a great pity. Here was a business that was thriving on internet buzz and word of mouth and had found a niche in the social networking space. Now, even myspace is yesterday's news though strong enough to generate another wave, with Facebook currently the channel of choice.

The owners sold out at the right time. Perhaps they had run out of steam creatively but whatever the reason, the ITV acquisition killed it stone dead as a viral success.

For Friends Reunited to succeed it does need a re-birth and clearly to their credit, ITV are on the case but I have strong doubts that such a large corporate organisation can make this succeed even before considering the particular merits of ITV itself.

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