Classmates.com Revamped As MemoryLane
This week, the Web lost one of its most ubiquitous brands in Classmates.com. Seemingly another victim of Facebook's reign, United Online's semi-subscription-based social network has been repositioned as a "nostalgia content" site with the new name MemoryLane.
In the words of TechFlash: "One of the survivors of the original dot-com craze, Classmates.com is taking a back seat to a new brand as its parent company maneuvers to escape the shadow of Facebook. Indeed, since its debut in 1995, "a new generation of social networks, such as MySpace and Facebook, eclipsed Classmates.com," writes The Seattle Times.
"The changes come as the performance of Classmates.com has deteriorated," paidContent notes. "In 2010, revenue at United Online's content and media business -- which includes the social network -- dropped nearly 15 percent and operating income fell by roughly 25 percent." What's more, "The number of active accounts also fell by nearly 30 percent to 13.7 million."
When he first announced the company's rebranding plans earlier this year, United Online CEO Mark Goldston attributed the move to "challenges from a number of fronts, including the economy, the continued increase and adoption of free social networking features and the maturity of Classmate's historical value propositions."
>Going forward, Goldston is essentially betting on older consumers' aversion to engage and interact online. "People in their 40s and 50s and 60s, they want to look at content, but they don't want to necessarily post it," Goldston tells The Seattle Times. As such, MemoryLane seems more like a content index than a social network. Indeed, Goldston said United invested about $8 million to acquire content created between 1940 and 1999.
According to The Hollywood Reporter: "United ... intends on making money with MemoryLane by taking a cut from every DVD it sells through partner Amazon.com, as well as via ads and subscription and per-transaction sales."