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A friend request from Friends Reunited

Social network Friends Reunited wants you to forget about Facebook and come on over to its newly revamped, fee-free website.

Come to the pirate- and poke-free zone

Back before Facebook made stalking your long lost ex-lovers simple there was a reunion-focused site called SchoolFriends.com.au.

School Friends — later changed to Friends Reunited — was created to reunite oldies with the chums who stole their Lego in grade two, and offered a very basic form of social networking courtesy of message boards and user profiles. Anyone could create an account for free, but the good stuff, such as photo uploading and messaging, was only available to members with a paid subscription.

Then came MySpace and Facebook, at which point Friends Reunited suddenly seemed totally lame.

Having realised its users have deserted the site in order to spend their days poking each other within Facebook's indigo interior, Friends Reunited is now attempting to lure everyone back by dropping its fees and adding new features. Such additions include privacy controls, a timeline, photo albums and a homepage showing friends' recent activities.

With 19 million members registered globally on Friends Reunited — compared to Facebook's 80 million — it'll be a tricky task. Should the Gen Y-ers be reluctant to abandon their photo-tagging, Scrabulous-playing fellow Facebookers, Friends Reunited has another approach: target the grown-ups.

"Social networking is still not mainstream for the over 30s and we can change that," said Head of Friends Reunited Australia Vicki Dawson in a statement.

"We're just flicking the switch and turning this on; it's going to be like smashing down the dam after years of holding the water back."

Those wishing to get their feet wet in the stream of yet another social network can sign up for the service at FriendsReunited.com.au.