Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

SchoolFeed Turns High School Reunions Into a Facebook Social Game

SchoolFeed, which is building a sort of Facebook social gaming version of, already has six million monthly users. Now it has raised $1.75 million in funding.

SchoolFeed helps users find out whatever happened to their freshman crush, of course — as well as plan reunions, scan their yearbooks and play games together. It also uses a lot of the standard viral persuasion techniques from Facebook social gaming apps, like rewarding users with virtual coins and gifts, and constantly urging them to add and share with their friends.

Instead of mining school directories, the company reverse-engineers high school class lists by getting its users to contribute their Facebook data. In my experience, the app seems to automatically include all your Facebook friends, regardless of what high school they say they went to.

Former RockYou CEO Lance Tokuda founded schoolFeed last year and is conducting a sort of RockYou class reunion of his own, having recruited former RockYou employees and RockYou investors like First Round Capital, SK Telecom and Nicolas El Baze of Partech. (Crosslink Capital and InterWest invested, as well.)

SchoolFeed really does look and feel like a cross between and a Zynga-style game. Tokuda pointed out that Classmates still makes significant revenue in the age of Facebook. But where Classmates charges its users, schoolFeed plans to monetize through ads and virtual goods. Its first in-app game is Bingo.

Speaking of Bingo, Tokuda told us he’s hoping to attract a relatively older audience with SchoolFeed. That’s in part because Facebook itself already serves as a sort of living yearbook for many younger people.

“We’re targeting people age 36 and older, who graduated before the Internet was born,” Tokuda said.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald