Social Media Officially Turns 20
Recognized as the first-ever social networking website, Seattle-based Classmates is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a look back at two decades of reconnecting America’s high school alumni. Since its creation in 1995, the social network has grown into a household name with over 350,000 reunions planned and the largest collection of digitized yearbooks, bringing 130 years of high school history to the social revolution.
“Twenty years marks a significant achievement and a time for nostalgia here at Classmates,” said Abani Heller, CEO of Classmates. “Through the last two decades, our industry has embraced more changes in technology than any other period in history. And while methods of communication have changed, the core of Classmates remains the same: to reconnect high school friends over the memories that shape who they are today. We are proud of our heritage and look forward to continuing that focus in the future.”
The company has a long history of members being reunited, with countless stories of people who have found their first love, long lost family members and friends through the platform. Representing more than 70 million members and over 90 percent of America’s high schools, Classmates is the only social media site dedicated to reconnecting high school peers. While today there are many options for people to connect online through social media, Classmates serves the specific purpose of locating and connecting alumni through a database of real names, providing the ability to view yearbooks online and help plan high school reunions.
Surveys show members are excited about reconnecting. In fact, in a recent poll of Classmates members, “rekindling an old flame” was ranked as one of the top reasons to attend a high school reunion, and nearly 70 percent of members surveyed indicated they would be open to a reinvigorating a romantic relationship from high school if they were single.
Other major milestones from Classmates’ 20-year history include:
- – More than 240,000 high schools represented
- – Over 70 million current members
- – More than 350,000 reunions planned, including more than 5 million members invited to a reunion this year
- – Over 58 million photos shared
- – More than 300,000 digitized yearbooks accessible online with the oldest yearbook on Classmates: Central High School, Manchester, NH class of 1885
Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Classmates operates the leading online social network service in the United States for bringing high school alumni together. Classmates serves over 70 million members and enables its users to find and reconnect with high school friends. In addition to facilitating connections with high school friends, Classmates also features the largest library of digitized yearbooks available anywhere on the Internet, with over 300,000 yearbooks available online to help members reconnect, reminisce, engage, and plan reunions with alumni.