That's why they launched Friends Reunited Dating in 2003, trying to provide a long term partner as well as new friends to their single members.
It turned out to be difficult selling the site to a new generation of users, who weren’t growing up knowing what it meant to lose track of friends.
ITV eventually sold Friends to Beano publisher DC Thomson for £25m in 2009, but a 2012 redesign was widely disliked. And while its spinoff sites – especially geneology site Genes Reunited – remain popular and profitable, it's still a surprise I wanted to know what it was like to be the creator of a website that was a cultural phenomenon – and why they'd want to try and save it, having walked away almost a decade ago.
Some of us even chose to contact former adversaries.
“Sad to hear Friends Reunited is shutting,” Jon Ronson tweeted on Monday in response to the news.
They are the ones who may have been high school sweethearts, good friends, or long lost loves.
They broke up or simply drifted away from each other, often losing touch for years.
The newspapers of the time were filled with stories of jilted husbands and wives blaming the site for their divorce, and at its height, in 2007, Friends Reunited claimed 55 per cent of all British adults were members.
Yet few of its users were active users (unlike then-surging Facebook's), and 2007 was when growth slowed – by March 2008, when the site responded by removing its subscription fee, active user numbers had already dramatically fallen.
In an emotional email sent yesterday by its founder, Steve Pankhurst, to those who had forgotten they ever had an account, he wrote: “In the summer of 2000, we launched Friends Reunited as a method for people to find their old friends from their school days.