Do you remember that terrible yearbook picture of you, with the feathered hair, two-inch thick Coke bottle glasses and braces? (Don't even mention the giant forehead zit.) That one? It might be coming back to haunt you.
According to TechFlash, Classmates.com CEO Mark Goldston laid out plans to digitize yearbooks, among other initiatives, as a way to differentiate itself from other social networking sites. The initiative comes after the company reported a nearly 20% profit loss in the fourth-quarter from the previous year. Goldston said the company plans to offer free thumbnail views of the yearbooks, but will charge for full-size views as well as DVD and hard copies.
In addition to yearbook scanning, the company plans on developing apps for both Facebook and the iPhone, as well as getting in on the business of class reunions.
Goldston told TechFlash that the company is looking at a "major reunions initiative that will allow us to be more involved in the planning and selling of tickets, travel-related revenues, and the creation of reunion-specific products and services that we can sell to our users."
We found ourselves wondering where exactly Classmates.com is going to get all of these yearbooks. Will schools have a collection and willingly hand them over to the site for use? Or will the have to pay some sort of royalty? Even more importantly, will they be scanning in clean, unadulterated copies of yearbooks or are we going to be able to see all the silly, dirty and downright mean things we all wrote when we were in high school?
We know that when many of us graduated high school, we weren't yet aware of the fact that everything we said and did could end up permanently enshrined on the Internet.
Perhaps our saving grace here is the fact that Classmates gets only a fraction of the traffic of Facebook or Myspace and is largely kept behind a pay wall.