Classmates Raises Hand, Files For IPO

    August 15, 2007

I’ve never thought of in any sort of “professional capacity”; I’ve just dodged its banner ads while doing my daily browsing.  There’s no dodging this, however: the owner of has filed for a $125 million IPO.

Yet the Motley Fool’s Rick Aristotle Munarriz reveals that there may not be much to get excited about.  “Classmates was losing money before it was scooped up, and it’s been posting operating losses at United Online ever since,” he writes.  “You can’t blame Internet access provider United Online for trying to ride the wave, though.  The IPO process gives it the chance to enrich itself, with a $50 million dividend going its way.  United Online will also retain the majority of its voting power in the company . . .”

That sounds harsh, but don’t think that I picked the one negative viewpoint out of a sea of supporters; observers at, ZDNet, and AllFacebook seem to have subscribed to the “big whoop” stance, as well.  Still, as you might have guessed from the name of that last blog, some onlookers are wondering what this could mean for a more popular social network.

That’s right – can we learn anything about Facebook based on Classmates?  Nick O’Neill (of AllFacebook) writes, “One thing I get from this is that Classmates either has a horrendous monetization strategy or Facebook really does have way too much hype. . . .  Based on a comparable company (, this would value Facebook at somewhere around $250 million.  We all know that Yahoo offered $1 billion, but we should view this from the perspective of a comparable company when giving consideration.”

Well, in terms of comparison, at least I don’t see Facebook ads a dozen times a day.