Trade Press Release
FRIENDS REUNITED LAUNCHES NEW SITE TO CELEBRATE EVERY BLAST FROM YOUR PAST
- Members will be able to access over 10 million “memories” on the site
- Owner brightsolid has signed deals with The Press Association and photographic archive company Francis Frith to provide iconic nostalgic images
- Opportunity for brands to store and showcase their heritage
brightsolid, the online publishing group, is about to launch the new Friends Reunited, as the place to celebrate those ‘Remember when?’ moments. The beta site will go live on Tuesday 27 March 2012.
It’s not just old school …Friends Reunited, traditionally known for reuniting old school friends, has evolved to reunite members with every blast from their past. Capturing the magic of first rediscovering old classmates, the completely new site encourages members to find, collect and share all of their most cherished memories.
Through the power of iconic images, members will be transported back to some of their favourite moments, including The Silver Jubilee in 1977, or Freddie Mercury’s career-defining performance at Live Aid in 1985. Members can build their own nostalgic collections - saved in online boxes - from the events, places, and moments they discover, share and upload through the site.
Starting with 10 million publicly available memories from launch (including 6m photos, 2m events and 2m places), the site will span a vast range of eras and themes, with new collections being added to everyday by both Friends Reunited and its members. Via on-going partnerships with The Press Association and photographic archive company The Francis Frith Collection, Friends Reunited has added a further 350,000 high quality and evocative images, covering culture, sport, music, news and places.
In addition to a range of standard display advertising placements, the new Friends Reunited provides a distinctive location for brands, businesses and celebrities to showcase their heritage and engage with customers. Brands will soon be able to upgrade their site presence to a “Brand Box” package, allowing for a range of unique features including embedded video and music players, catalogue viewers, bespoke high visibility branding opportunities and high volume on-site promotion.
Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of Friends Reunited’s parent company brightsolid, said:
“Brands are increasingly emphasising their rich history as a way to gain trust and loyalty in a recessionary market. As a company built on nostalgia, we will be in a great place to offer brands a way to exhibit this heritage in a visually compelling and entertaining way.”
Ian Maude, Head of Internet at Enders Analysis, comments:
"The relaunch of Friends Reunited represents the first serious attempt to do something different to Facebook – it’s not just another social network, but rather a digital scrapbook aimed specifically at UK internet users. Chris and his team could be onto something…"
The unique “Keep” functionality allows members to save and share the content they find on the site, and in combination with powerful new search functionality, increases the discoverability and visibility of memories added by both brands and members. Friends Reunited will encourage users to share what they remember using social networks like Facebook and Twitter, in combination with a Facebook app that shares your favourite memories with your Facebook friends.
Straightforward privacy is a cornerstone of the new service, allowing users to store their most personal memories (including old photographs, videos, scanned ticket stubs and other memorabilia) privately. They can also share those memories with a select few, or make them public.
The new site will automatically create over 24.3 million “Family Boxes”, one for each of the site’s existing members. Family boxes provide a dedicated place for families to share private memories within a small group and to begin discovering their personal history. Additionally, Friends Reunited has created over 10,000 nostalgic collections for people to enjoy browsing, ranging from “I Can’t Believe We Wore It!” to “Maggie Thatcher’s Britain”.
Van der Kuyl commented:
“At brightsolid we have been driving to safeguard the nation’s history through our leading genealogy businesses genesreunited.co.uk, findmypast.co.uk and more recently with the British Newspaper Archive, launched in November last year in partnership with the British Library. The latter website is a unique treasure trove containing millions of pages from the British Library’s newspaper collection, featuring more than 200 newspaper titles from every part of the UK and Ireland published in the 18th and 19th centuries. Later 20th century editions of local newspapers and journals will also be added to Friends Reunited in the future.”
For further information, please contact:
Katie Hayward - Lansons Communications
Direct dial: 0207 294 3631 Mobile: 07809 441803
Carolynne Bull-Edwards - brightsolid
Notes to editors
brightsolid began life in 1995 as Scotland Online. It now has two divisions; brightsolid online publishing and brightsolid online technology. brightsolid online technology is a leading UK independent provider of online IT business services. brightsolid online publishing has a number of innovative online businesses around people and places including Friends Reunited and leading family history brands Genes Reunited, ScotlandsPeople and the findmypast global network.
The family history sites deliver access to over a billion records dating as far back as 1200. Family historians can search for their ancestors among global collections, relating primarily to people with UK and Irish ancestry, of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as birth, marriage and death records.
brightsolid was awarded The National Archives’ contract to digitize and publish online the 1911 census for England and Wales, which it launched in January 2009. Most recently, in November 2011, the online innovation group launched the British Newspaper Archive in partnership with the British Library, to digitize up to 40 million pages of historic newspapers over the next 10 years, providing a unique insight into major events and key periods of historical international interest.
Headquartered in Dundee, the company is owned by the publishers D.C. Thomson, and also has operations in Edinburgh, London, Dublin, Sydney and Los Angeles.
About Friends Reunited
Friends Reunited is the original social network with over 24 million members. Launched in 2000 as a back-bedroom hobby to put old school friends back in touch, it swiftly became a British media phenomenon. Today, the site has evolved to celebrate every blast from the past, becoming a central part of the brightsolid mission to safeguard the nation’s history.