Friends Reunited is finally closing

Lynsey Barber
Follow Lynsey
The site still has a "handful" of members but is nowhere near as popular as it once was

Before Facebook, there was Friends Reunited.

Dating all the way back to the pre-iPhone, dial-up internet, turn of the century, the British social network was born in the original dotcom boom and fared about as well.

But finally, sixteen years later, the social network will shut for good, leaving a "handful" of users and its founders with a tear in their eye over its rather prolonged demise.

"Not long ago I was approached by the FriendsReunited owners, to see if I wanted to take it back and try some new projects with it," said founder Steve Pankhurst in a blog post.

"It was evident that putting the site back to be more like its original form was not a service people would get excited about using again. The site is still used by a handful of members however it has become clear that the site is no longer really used for the purpose it was built for.

"For the site to continue it needs a complete re-write and this is just not viable. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart, that we have decided to close the service down."

The site was bought up by ITV in 2005 in a deal worth up to £175m but the broadcaster went on to sell it at a loss to DC Thompson for just £25m when it fell out of fashion. At its height of popularity it boasted 15m users.