Friends Reunited to shut down as user numbers reduced to ‘a handful’

Friends Reunited, established in 2000, is to shut down. Picture: PA

Friends Reunited, established in 2000, is to shut down. Picture: PA

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Friends Reunited, one of the original social networking sites, is to close.

Steve Pankhurst, one of the site’s founders, said it is still used by some but is “no longer used for the purpose it was built for”.

The site launched in 2000 and was bought by ITV for £175 million in 2005, reaching more than ten million users globally.

However, its popularity has suffered due to the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks.

Mr Pankhurst said the decision to shut the site, which he had reacquired from comic publisher DC Thompson, came because it could no longer cover its own costs.

“I knew it was near impossible to re-boot something that was old and in decline,” he said, describing user numbers as “a handful”.

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