If you want to take a digital trip down memory lane, where else would you turn? Memory Lane operates nostalgia site MemoryLane.com, which features 60,000 digitized high school yearbooks, as well as historical content related to movies, music, TV, headlines, sports, and other lifestyle topics from the 1940s through 1990s. The site includes photos, music, and video files. The company also operates Classmates.com, a website that reunites classmates, friends and family, teachers, co-workers, and military personnel. Memory Lane was founded as Classmates Online in 1995. Today it is a subsidiary of Internet service provider United Online (UOL).
Memory Lane's content is anchored by its digital yearbook assets. Visitors of the website can view the first several pages of each yearbook for free, but must purchase an All-Access Pass to view an entire yearbook in full size. Additional revenues come from advertising and other transactions; consumers can buy nostalgic products -- such as music, movies, posters, and reprints of high school yearbooks -- through third-party websites.
The company's efforts are focused on making improvements to its holdings in order to grow its paid membership. It is steadily increasing the number of yearbooks on its website. It is also working to enhance the functionality of its digital yearbooks by adding more search capabilities. In addition, it is adding features to facilitate sharing comments and other user-generated content and services.
Before it focused on high school yearbooks and other nostalgia-related content, the company was named after its primary asset, Classmates Online. It continues to operate the ad-supported website, which lets members post information about themselves, including personal profiles, biography information, photos, and affiliations. Members pay a fee to access additional features, such as a digital guestbook which alerts a Classmates member when another member visits his or her profile.
Formerly an independent company, Classmates Online was acquired by UOL in 2004 for $100 million in cash. The company was rebranded from Classmates Online to Memory Lane in 2011 after experiencing intense competition from leading social network giant Facebook. Memory Lane and Classmates Online, along with online loyalty marketing service MyPoints.com and European operations (such as Swedish site Stayfriends.se, German site Stayfriends.de, and French site Trombi.com), together make up the Content & Media segment of UOL.