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AOL Buys Social Networking Service Bebo


By: Spacelab Research Staff

AOL has made another jump into the Web 2.0 frontier with its recent purchase of social networking service Bebo. This allows AOL to hit the ground running on the social networking phenomenon in an international sense as Bebo ranks high in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand as well as the U.S.


Bebo has around 40 million members, and will be bought for $850 million in cash money. AOL will try to provide an inroad to an American audience for Bebo users and merge it with its Platform A advertising technology.


The big question is how AOL will go about integrating the two, with a past history of acquiring companies and not being able to make something good out of the result (remember AOL TimeWarner?). AOL does have AIM and ICQ, so Bebo will fit nicely with those as AOL tries to move forward as a content company with new social media technology.


AOL just launched Open AIM 2.0, a new version of its instant messging that lets publishers integrate AIM into their own sites, as well as the iPhone. Bebo follows on the heels of that, making use of Google's OpenSocial to make Bebo work with other social networking programs like MySpace and Friendster.


The future is open and interoperable.

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