Why does classmates.com advertise on Facebook?

Post ImageI have been spending far too much time on Facebook lately, so I couldn’t help but notice the vertical banner ads for classmates.com that appear on the site. And I can’t figure out why they bother. I mean, I signed up for classmates.com probably six years ago, and never visited the site again.

Well until this week, when I went back to see if it still sucked (so I suppose you could argue their advertisement worked to an extent). And yes, it does still suck. I understand why there are two gas stations on every corner, and why you can usually find a Wendy’s or Burger King wherever there is a McDonald’s. They have really similar offerings. Is this the case with Facebook and classmates.com? I don’t think so.

Facebook and classmates.com just might be the best examples of Web 2.0 and Web 1.0, respectively.

They are almost polar opposites. Facebook is clean and fast. Classmates.com pages are slower and cluttered. Facebook is entirely free, while classmates.com is primarily a premium service. Facebook has features like photos, blogs, and mobile support. Classmates.com has message boards and biographies. Facebook is new and hip, classmates.com is old and tired.

It seems to me that at their core, the two services serve the same purpose: connecting people with friends (and especially classmates). In my opinion, Facebook does a much better job. It’s easier, and costs nothing. Classmates.com appears to be quite successful though, so I wonder if people use the two in different ways.

If they are in fact used for the same purpose, then I wonder if advertising on Facebook is at all effective for classmates.com. I can’t imagine it would be, but perhaps I’m missing something here.

8 thoughts on “Why does classmates.com advertise on Facebook?

  1. Classmates is likely not doing it intentionally, it’s probably handled by some ad agency.

    Alternatively, maybe the advertising works because Joe Noob isn’t aware of how "web 2.0" his site is =)

  2. Facebook appeals to certain people. People might visit the site looking for friends that are members. They do not find certain friends and then see the ad for classmates and then go look for friends there.

  3. Although I prefer Face book…one thing I found easier on Classmates was finding old girlfriends who may have married and changed their names.
    Classmates list all the names from a particular school in a particular year. Haven’t discovered anything like that on face book as yet.

  4. Seriously, who the hell uses classmates.com anymore? I wretch when I see their ads, and it brings me back to the days of BLINK tags… ugh, sorry, just through up a lil’ bit in my mouth just then..

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