Social networking sites sprang to prominence in 2005 following the widespread acceptance of MySpace and then Facebook. Whilst these big players continue to dominate in the arena of general social connectivity, we have drilled down a little bit more to look at sites that specialize in connecting you with old friends. We were surprised to see that whilst MySpace and Facebook post huge traffic and membership numbers, a number of the “reuniting” sites are not too far behind.
Whilst many people may not particularly want to delve into their past and dig up memories of their youth, they will probably also admit that it is really tempting to try and find out about their peers. Curiosity often trumps any fears about digging up skeletons! For entrepreneurs who crave connectivity and want to see what the high school prom queen looks like now, here are the Blogtrepreneur top three picks:
This site has maintained a rapid rise to stardom since its introduction in 2002. The model allows for two different types of membership – basically free or paid. Once you sign up as a free member you are able to search for basic information about your former friends and classmates. However, as is common with sites of this type, they soon “tease” you to find out more information, which of course requires you to enter your credit card and sign up as a premium member.
The layout of the site has been criticized for being quite plain and in truth there is a limited amount of individual information available. You will also receive a regular e-mail blast from the company “teasing” you that people are checking out your profile, suggesting that if you buy a premium membership you will open up the chance to connect with your old flames.
2 – Classmates
Classmates.com is probably the best known within this category and boasts some 50 million registered users. It appears that they have the highest level of visitor traffic according to experts who know such things about the Internet. We think the site is mildly entertaining, but their site architecture and navigation are a little awkward at times. Once again, you will likely get bombarded to upgrade your membership, with the tease that you will indeed find out more information and track down other long-lost friends. A lot of the information appears to be very out of date, however, and don’t be surprised to find surveys that are several years old. Their billing model – charge the card unless you call to cancel – has been heavily criticized.
3 – My Yearbook
This is certainly one of the fastest growing of these sites. It was started by two high school students in 2005 and features a cleaner, more streamlined design. The site has a predominantly teen audience, and by its very nature and model is likely to be more up to date and active than other similar sites. The promoters have very lofty goals and both their traffic ranking history and member numbers suggest that My Yearbook will garner substantial growth over the next few years.
So what do you think about our top three picks? Do you have any favorite sites of your own? Get in touch with us and let us know what your thoughts.