back to article ITV to write down Friends Reunited value, says report

Friends Reunited could see its carrying value slashed by ITV when the television channel releases its year-end review of past acquisitions. The Sunday Times reported that the review, which is undertaken by ITV CEO John Cresswell, is expected to conclude that Friends Reunited is worth less than when the firm bought it in …


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  1. Andrew Moore

    I beg to differ...

    "There's no such thing as a free, chummy lunch"

    Last time I went shark diving, the sharks didn't appear to be paying for their free, chummy lunch...

  2. Mark Wills
    Thumb Down


    "The Sunday Times reported that the review, which is undertaken by ITV CEO John Cresswell, is expected to conclude that Friends Reunited is worth less than when the firm bought it in December 2005."

    And, in a dose of the blindingly obvious, Mr. Creswell, true to form reveals "Erm, well, it would appear, contrary to our expectations, that, er business that don't take any money from their customers, er, don't make any money."

    Thank you Mr. Creswell for the blinding ray of insight.

    Web 2.0. FAIL.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Let's face it...

    ...the whole "pay £5 to contact your mates" thing was fatally flawed on two counts:

    1. Most of the people I went to school with I wouldn't want to speak to again even if you paid *me*.

    2. You can do it for free on Facebook, and the FB website is a whole load simpler and slicker than the bag-o-spanners that FriendsReunited was.

  4. Lloyd
    Black Helicopters


    I seem to remember that the idea was for ITV to buy FR and then use it as a platform to flog it's shoddy programs to the enormous user base, especially it's on-line progs (I'm assuming they'll appear in the distant future), a great idea on paper but then they'd never heard of social networking at the time had they?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: FAIL

    What, you mean like Google?

  6. kevin king

    Sing with me Tom

    what was missed from the original article "ITV is not the only media company that is having to write down the value of websites acquired in 2005 and 2006. Daily Mail and General Trust has cut the value of dating and shopping websites, while the American firm EW Scripps wrote off almost the entire £210m it paid for the price-comparison website Uswitch."

    as Tom Jones would say "Its Not Unusal....." lots of companies which were over valued and bought in the bubble are now getting crunched.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In fairness, they were never the worst offenders

    There were far worse offenders in the world of social networking than Friends Reunited - at least they had a business model that involved actually *charging* people for some of the services they use (specifically, sending messages to other users of the service, and restricting profiles such that people couldn't just say "screw paying for this, mail me at").

    Of course, better than Facebook, Bebo and Myspace doesn't necessarily mean "good", but at least they started from a position of knowing they'd need to be bringing money in one way or another.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Their business model was f*cked anyway

    When I looked for my ex-schoolchums, none of them had registered, they'd just left comments saying "If u need to contact me, my email is: fname.sname(at)

    ...and no need to register to see it.

    The only downside is that if they caught you, you were banned. Erm, yes. All 5 active users had seen your address by then!

    Paris. She knows all about wasting money and being f*cked.

  9. Milo
    Thumb Up

    Re: re: FAIL

    Google's customers are the firms that spend money paying for advertising.

  10. Ben
    Paris Hilton

    Has that horse bolted yet?

    So let me get this right...

    In MAY... MAY... 2008 they stop charging people for contacting old work collegues or school friends, after errr facebook has been around a good 12 months in the UK, so what customer base they did have who were paying were now getting the service for Free and any new customers have gone to, facebook, myspace, bebo etc... great plan ITV

    I have been a member of Friends Reunited for 5-6 years, i've never paid for the service as it just seemed wrong somehow to pay "just for the email addy".

    Friends ReunDead me thinks.

    (Still nice sale at £120m for a business that was run from home!)

  11. Kevin Bailey

    Revamp was not very good either

    The interface is too slow.

    Another victim of ASP.NET.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More sense in 2009

    Less money, more sense. Previously, ITV had more money than sense as did a few others.

    Now you can contact your friends for free, how will Friends Reunited make any money at all? Advertising ? Oh, tell me it's safe to put my money in an Icelandic bank....

  13. Tony Hoyle

    re: FAIL


    Not at all like google. Hint: We are not google's customers.

  14. Alexis Vallance
    Thumb Down

    Worth anything?

    Is FU really worth anything at all??

    Facebook serves the same purpose, but is better at it and completely free.

    I'm surprised FU is still going.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No free chummy lunch

    "Last time I went shark diving, the sharks didn't appear to be paying for their free, chummy lunch..."

    Sharks pay for their free chummy lunch with the loss of their natural hunting grounds and prey to human incursion.

  16. Dave Stark

    Bob Goatse, class of '99

    What nobody seemed to notice was that the forms on friendsreunited didn't strip HTML out properly. Combine that with the fact that you could add non-printing characters (a BLINK tag did the job) to the start of your name to get it on the top of the list for your school/Uni/whatever, and you've got yourself a very effective goatse delivery system.

    Good times.

  17. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Consigned to history

    Facebook is the place where most of my school friends find me now. Friends reunited is worthless now, it would have been better without the £5 fee. But the site never made the transition into a proper modern profile site.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Dave, you are a sick, nay depraved human being. Well done sir, I salute you.

  19. Anonymous Hero

    @Kevin Bailey

    Um no, sounds like poor capacity planning. Unless you can provide some insight as to what hosting resources were deployed (or even removed) to support the ASP.NET tech and how this compared to what was used on the old site then I flip the troll bit on you.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ITV touch

    Perhaps the reduction in the value of FU is simply down to the fact it was ITV that bought it. Few companies have such a talent for turning silk purses into sows ears.

  21. Michael

    FriendsReunited is dead

    I think it will be sold off again by ITV or closed - Its needs development big time but I dont think ITV will want to do this and possible close the site... Its leagues behind FB and I have better contact with school pals through FB than FriendsReunited... It was good for 2000-2004 but I think private ownership by ITV has started the ball rolling.. Just waiting for the obituary now....

  22. Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised...

    ... they haven't created a low budget, day time TV, show about how their web site has brought people together. It's that sort of rubbish that keeps me away from the TV before 9pm.

  23. Alistair

    Sunday night drama

    I was expecting a cosy feel-good Sunday night drama featuring Robson whotsisface and that big old bird from the Oxo advert (bless 'er) getting together through FR to make sweet sixties-nostalgic music together whilst also rounding up the obligatory serial killer and saving a few fluffy animals.

    LB - if you are reading this, I'm only joking I always thought you were hot

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