A few years ago the website Friends Reunited became incredibly popular in the UK. Over the course of a few months traffic jumped to crazy figures. I remember everyone signing up around that time and people were using it and updating their profiles a lot. For those who don't know, Friends Reunited is a website which was initially setup for people to meet old school friends. They later let you add your work details etc too.
One of the major limitations of the site was that in order to send someone a message you had to pay a yearly fee. Many did however most people I knew didn't pay. FR were quite strict on this policy too and removed email addresses etc from profiles of people who were trying to get in contact with a friend without paying them.
I got an email from them the other day telling me about people who have joined up in the last month and I decided to logon to the site. One of the biggest changes they made recently was that they have made it free to send messages to other users. This is a move they obviously had to do due to the success of other social media sites but I do feel that they have missed the boat.
Too little too late
I have no doubt that friends reunited still gets a lot of traffic and still makes a lot of money however I think they waited too long to remove the fee for sending messages. A few years ago it was one of the only social media sites in the UK however since then it has many rivals. In the USA MySpace is very popular however in the UK people mainly use FaceBook and Bebo. I really can't see why anyone would use FR on a regular basis given most people now contact via these other social medai sites.
What do you think? Do you think Friends Reunited would be more popular today if it had removed the fee to message each other a few years earlier?
* For the record, I'm not really a big fan of any social media site myself and get bored with them very quickly!