Pioneering social network Friends Reunited is to close

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Friends Reunited, the pioneering social network site is to close, one of its founders has announced.

Launched in Britain in 2000, Friends Reunited was the social network site in the days before MySpace, Twitter and, of course, Facebook and gave many of us our first taste of sharing photos online and rekindling friendships with old friends.

Of course the world of social networking has changed greatly over the past 15 years following domination from the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Despite being bought by ITV for £175 million in 2005, when the site had more than 10 million users, Friends Reunited struggled to keep itself relevant and was ultimately left in the wake of the newer social networking platforms.

In 2009, the site was sold to DC Thompson for a cut price £25 million.

In an email sent to users, founder Steve Pankhurst admitted that the site can no longer compete with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, even though it does still have a small number of users.

In the email, Pankhurst revealed that he had been approached by the current owners to buy the site back. However, after a trial takeover failed, the decision was made to pull the plug on the site once and for all.

Pankhurst revealed the site will remain online for another month so users have a chance to download any old photographs or other information they may have stored on their account.

Following the announcement Friends Reunited started trending on Twitter. However, the majority of comments were from people surprised that they site was still live, with many users stating they thought the it had actually closed some years ago.

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