Case Study: Classmates

Classmates is an online social networking Web site that enables users to locate and interact with acquaintances from high school, college, work and the military. The servoce has more than 50 million registered accounts, including 3.0 million pay accounts as of September 30, 2007.

Members contribute to the social networking site a substantial amount of distinct, relevant pieces of content that helps attract new social networking members and returning Web site visits from existing members. [Source: Classmates Media Corporation, December 2007]

Things to read:

Questions to consider:

  • What does Classmates do?
  • How does Classmates make money?
  • How do the membership tiers differ? What explains the success of Classmates in converting members into paying subscribers where others have failed?

Intellectual Property

Selected trademark applications and registrations:

  • CLASSMATES.COM ®;
  • CLASSMATES;
  • CLASSMATESTV.COM;
  • CLASSMATES THE WORLD’S BEST PLACE TO REUNITE;
  • Search real-time for U.S. trademarks.

Selected patents: