As expected, the newly relaunched Friends Reunited has dropped its pay wall, hoping that going free will allow it to keep a grip on its members who are increasingly decamping to other social networks. From March 2007 to March 2008, data from comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) shows Friends Reunited unique user numbers halve, plummeting from from 4.3 million to 2.4 million. The once ubiquitous eight-year old site reports that it currently has 19 million registered users, with 13 million using the site at least once in any 18-month period, reports the Guardian. Compared to Facebook and MySpace whose members visit repeatedly over the day, the stat is a dire one.
Friends Reunited’s head Jon Clarke told the Guardian that the site was hoping to shift away from this model, where the site served its function to hook up old friends, but never really catered to them socialising online. In the past, Friends Reunited allowed members to search for friends for free, but charged them £7.50 to email one another for six months. Currently, subs make up 40 percent of the site