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News about Britain

Friends Reunited

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Have you ever wondered what your old school-mates are doing now? Well plenty of people in Britain do. One of the most successful internet ventures in Britain has shown how popular, and how lucrative, nostalgia can be.

The website Friends Reunited was started for fun in 1999 by a couple who were interested to know what their old school friends were doing. The project snowballed and by 2005, the site had 12 million members. One extraordinary fact is that Friends Reunited has never advertised, its success is entirely due to word-of-mouth.

You can search for a school, college or university and find a list of the members who were there in any year. You can also post a personal profile showing what you are doing now, and read other people's details.

Steve Pankhurst, one of the founders of the site, thinks that one of the reasons for its success is that some people like to be anonymous. On Friends Reunited, you can snoop on other people's lives without giving away anything about yourself if you don't want to. It's also an opportunity to bolster your self-esteem by showing off to everyone just how successful and happy you are now, even if you weren't while you were at school.

Friends Reunited has also led to many successful school reunions, and people meeting up with each other after many years. In particular, many people use the site to look up their childhood sweethearts and many couples have actually rekindled relationships after contacting each other through the site.

There have even been Friends Reunited weddings and babies, and Friends Reunited now has a new site called Friends Reunited Dating especially for people who are looking for love. The company has also launched other sites, such as Genes Reunited, which helps people to find long-lost relatives and build their family trees online.



people who went to the same school, or are in the same school now

enterprises, or business activities that usually have some risk involved

profitable, bringing financial gain

missing the past

grew quickly

when information is passed between people by talking about something

search for
look for

publish, make available to others (on a website)

here, a description of your life and character

not revealing your name

secretly look

giving away
telling, revealing

to bolster your self-esteem
to make you more confident

showing off
displaying your success and/or wealth

school reunions
occasions where former school-mates get together

childhood sweethearts
people who you used to have romantic feelings about when you were a child

made work again

lost a long time ago

family trees
a charts that shows the relationship between different members of a family over a long period of time

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Download this pdf file (74 k) to practise your English
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Friends Reunited error pair marry
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Reunion site 'changed our lives'
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Web romance 'fuels divorce rise'
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ITV buys Friends Reunited website
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Friends Reunited *

* The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
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