SEATTLE, Sep 15, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Classmates Online, Inc. has launched its yearbook initiative giving members the ability to view more than 30,000 high school yearbooks on the Classmates.com website. The initiative is part of the company's strategy to transform Classmates from a predominantly social networking company into a premier nostalgia content center on the Internet. While still enabling members to reconnect with people from their past, the company plans to add, in addition to yearbooks, a wide assortment of third-party nostalgic content including vintage magazines, music, photographic images, album covers, movie trailers and movie posters.
"Yearbooks are an important part of the high school experience, and we hope that being able to view them at Classmates.com provides another compelling reason for people to sign up and explore the new Classmates website," said Mark R. Goldston, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Online, Inc. "In addition to being able to view their own high school yearbooks, our members can view the yearbooks of their friends, co-workers and other important people in their lives as those yearbooks become available."
There are currently over 30,000 digitized U.S. high school yearbooks available on Classmates.com, the largest number available online. The company is digitizing thousands of new yearbooks a week, and hopes to have 70,000 yearbooks available on the website by the end of 2010. Classmates plans to give members the ability to interact with yearbooks in compelling ways including, tagging, commenting on and liking specific pages, and purchasing printed copies through a third-party partner.
Classmates Gold members have unlimited access to every page of any available yearbook on the website. Classmates free members can view the front section of each yearbook and oversized thumbnails of every page. To find a yearbook, members click on the new "Yearbooks" tab, which has been added to the site's top navigation menu. The Yearbooks directory page lists a sampling of available yearbooks matched to the member's chosen high school communities. Members can view these yearbooks by clicking on them, or they can browse the entire yearbook collection by state, high school and year. Prominent links to pertinent available yearbooks are also shown on each member's school and class page.
Each yearbook is displayed in a custom viewer that gives members a variety of navigation options. Members can view page-by-page via "next" and "back" arrows, scan using a thumbnail-preview slider on the bottom of the viewer or jump to a specific page using a search box. The viewer includes multi-level zoom-in capability as well.
"Historically, the Classmates website has primarily featured user-generated content such as member photos and profile information," Goldston added. "Our goal going forward is to combine that user-generated content with compelling third-party content to create a unique platform for taking a stroll down memory lane via the Internet. The yearbook initiative is an important first step in creating this exciting new platform."
Through its website www.classmates.com, Classmates Online, Inc., a subsidiary of Classmates Media Corporation, connects millions of members throughout the U.S. and Canada with friends and acquaintances from their high school years. Classmates also operates leading social networking sites in Germany (www.stayfriends.de), Austria (www.stayfriends.at), Sweden (www.stayfriends.se), France (www.trombi.com) and Switzerland (www.stayfriends.ch). Classmates Media Corporation is a subsidiary of United Online, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNTD). For more information about United Online, please visit www.unitedonline.com.
Note to Editors: Classmates, Classmates.com and United Online are trademarks or registered trademarks of United Online, Inc. or its subsidiaries.
Cautionary Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the company's proposed marketing initiatives and product and service offerings. Potential factors that could affect the company's ability to perform and consequently its business, financial condition and results of operations include the company's inability or failure to offer or implement any or all planned marketing initiatives or to fulfill the products or services offered or awarded, the unavailability of products or services, delays in the provision of products and services, technological issues, as well as other factors described in United Online, Inc.'s annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (http://www.sec.gov), including, without limitation, information under the captions "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Risk Factors."
SOURCE: Classmates Online, Inc.
Erik Randerson, CFA
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