ITV might kill off Friends Reunited Jobs, an offshoot of the UK social network that once triumphed over the likes of MySpace, Bebo and Facebook. The service was built after the site bought online jobs board Top Dog Jobs in March 2005 and based a new recruitment search service on the acquisition’s technology, nine months before Britain’s largest commercial broadcaster snapped up the whole thing for £120 million (now $238 million).
But now Media Week reports ITV is warning staff about the future of their own jobs as it considers either wielding the ax or a continuation option, which could involve partnering with Monster.com on a white-label job search service. The service has failed to take off as expected.
Launched in 2000, Friends Reunited, with its Facebook-like dependence on linking former schoolmates, once ruled the roost in a market that was yet to see the current phenomenon of “friend” adding across the new wave of social nets, but, save for advertising itself on its parent ITV’s channels recently, appears to have done precious little since its acquisition by the broadcaster. It is difficult to say to what degree that is down to ITV’s slow-to-develop online strategy (Friends Reunited’s own corporate timeline stops after the buy-out and the broadcaster’s new website is still awaited) or simply to being overtaken by the zeitgeist. But what is clear is that, whilst Friends Reunited has added several adjuncts including dating and geneaology, recruitment – one of the categories that has helped lead the recent online advertising boom – has not proved a winner for the site.