This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
 
You are in: Learning English > Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation > News about Britain
 
News about Britain

Friends Reunited

Wedding ring

Listen Listen to the story

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.

 

Vocabulary

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

ventures
enterprises, or business activities that usually have some risk involved

lucrative
profitable, bringing financial gain

nostalgia
missing the past

snowballed
grew quickly

word-of-mouth
when information is passed between people by talking about something

search for
look for

post
publish, make available to others (on a website)

profile
here, a description of your life and character

anonymous
not revealing your name

snoop
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

rekindled
made work again

long-lost
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

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

* The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
 
 
OTHER STORIES
 
blue arrow
 
Archive