News this morning that FriendsReunited, formerly the FindaKiwi locale, has re-branded, dropped subscription fees and put in place a whole heap of social media functionality. Reading between the lines I take it that there were nowhere near enough subscriptions to make the site viable (paying to join a generic social media offering – I don’t think so) and the backers want to to play Facebook catch up. Of course their reasons are different;
We have removed the single greatest barrier to increased communication between our members.
As many as 87 per cent of messages on the old Friends Reunited were never sent because of the cost of membership and we thought that was a great shame, so we have dropped the fee to encourage greater interaction between members but still with the same level of privacy that they enjoyed before.
Please be assured that, unlike other social networks, we will still never reveal you personal email address.
Sorry but it won’t work;
- The horse has left the stable – those who have joined social networks already will view this offering as a down grade, those yet to join will go for the big players
- I can even get a taste of the offering without registering – sorry but I don’t want to fill in lots of forms to check the flavour of a social networking site
FriendsReunited pitches their point of difference as;
We now have the timeline which is a way for you to record your life story – some events will already be added there for you such as the information from your My Places listings and you can choose to add your own personal events there which you can add comments and photos to and invite your friends to do the same.
You can also now create your own friends list by adding existing Friends Reunited members or by using our email address book uploader. You can then use your friends list to keep in contact with new and old friends more easily and to share certain parts of your profile with people who are close to you rather than every Friends Reunited Member
It is now free to use Friends Reunited, including the sending of all messages, making it far more interactive so you can truly connect with all the important people in your life and find people who were always listed but were harder to find.
We now have a Privacy Settings section so that yo can choose who sees every part of your profile and you can even categorise people on your friends list from being ‘Friends and Family’ or ‘Acquaintances’ so that yo can differentiate which parts of your profile they can see.