The company’s online subsidiary brightsolid, run by the computer games pioneer Chris van der Kuyl, is working on a revamp to be unveiled early next year.
Friends Reunited was founded in 2000 by a husband and wife team curious about the fortunes of old school chums. By 2005, it had more than 15m members and was sold to ITV for £120m.
But it lost ground to other social networking sites, particularly Facebook, and last year Dundee based brightsolid bought it from ITV for £25m.
“People have the perception that, like Myspace, it’s done; its goose is cooked,” said van der Kuyl. “But with not a lot of fresh content and a rather staid user experience, it still has around three million monthly active users in the UK.” As well as providing technology services to businesses and organisations, the company has an online publishing division.
It includes findmypast.com, the first website to put the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England and Wales online, and ancestorsonboard.com which traces the flow of people travelling around the world between 1890 and 1960. The deal with ITV also included the site Genes Reunited.
“We are about people and places on the internet and what’s important to you on the internet,” said van der Kuyl.
The entrepreneur, who was brought into the company by merchant banker Sir Angus Grossart four years ago, said the aim was not to compete directly with Facebook. But he believes there is potential for “easy to use, single-purpose social media experiences.
“We’ll be a high value product; people will invest more time building and protecting their personal collections on Friends Reunited, Genes Reunited and so on. And we’ll be bringing something new to both.”