AOL will be buying social Networking site Bebo for $850m cash.
Well done to all of those at Bebo, the social network that (more or less) quietly got on with building its 40 million members while the other social network shouted about what they were up to.
It’s interesting that the deal is all cash, with one interpretation of that being that Bebo and its backers wanted to cashout rather than receive stock that might decrease in value.
Bebo was different
Ad the most obvious level, Bebo was different from other social network in that it easily allowed member to change the look of the pages simple my adopting someone’s else look, that they called skins.
Bebo often took a different approach, building content for the social network, to encourage the discussion in the network. A good example being Kate Modern, a long running series of video episodes, where Kate also ran her own pages on Bebo, attempting to create the illusion that she was real.
Bebo also took an interesting approach working with commercial partners, or advertisers. They called it engagement marketing and we found out the details of their approach in a chat with Sarah Gavin back in December 2006.
AOL has sort of fallen behind with social networking, although it’s arguable that they started an early, unpolished form of social networking when they ran a closed dialup network with many bulletin boards with people chatting incessantly on them.