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Classmates.com owner buys competing Facebook app, SchoolFeed


SchoolFeed, an online high school connection service and one of the most deceptive Facebook apps I’ve ever used, has been purchased by the parent company of its competitor Classmates.com. United Online, which owns Memory Lane, which in turn owns Classmates.com, announced Tuesday that it plans to buy SchoolFeed. Lance Takuda, SchoolFeed CEO and co-founder, and other members of the SchoolFeed team will join the Classmates.com crew.

While the exact future of SchoolFeed remains unknown, it appears as though Classmates.com will fold SchoolFeed’s members into its ranks.

“We expect the acquisition of SchoolFeed by Memory Lane to solidify our Classmates service as the premier high school social media platform in the U.S.,” said Mark R. Goldston, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Online, in a statement. “We anticipate that the addition of SchoolFeed’s installed base of 19 million registered members, together with its daily registrations, will create an opportunity for Classmates to have a leading position on Facebook. It should also provide an opportunity for both SchoolFeed members and Classmates.com members to reconnect and interact with an even larger number of people from their high schools. In addition, we add the proven talent of Lance Tokuda and his team to enhance the Classmates.com user experience.”

SchoolFeed currently claims to have 19 million users, with 100,000 “new registrations” every day.  Now, as I wrote in the past, the way SchoolFeed gets these “new registrations” is by tricking people into signing up — at least, that’s how it feels. SchoolFeed is both a Facebook Canvas app as well as a standalone website. If you allow the Facebook app access to your Facebook data — from your likes and dislikes to your photos and friend list — all of that information is immediately ported to an entirely different website, where a full profile is built for you. This might be a good thing for users who want to use the standalone site to connect with long lost high school buddies. But it’s rather frustrating if you simply thought you were adding a Facebook app.

This is just the tip of the shady practice iceberg for SchoolFeed, so we hope that Classmates.com changes the way the site does business rather than adopting it for its own. If we’re lucky, maybe they’ll just shut the whole thing down.