Posted September 4, 2008 6:58 pm by with 21 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

If you’ve paid attention to my advice about selecting your social networking profile name, you’ve likely carefully made your choice.

Well be warned; Bebo will change your profile name without notice and without any input from you.

Take a look at this email I recently received from Bebo:


Andy Beal,

Your username has been changed by a Bebo administrator for security purposes. Sorry for the inconvenience.

New Username: AndyBeal_*******

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Please do not reply directly to this email.

If you have a question about the Bebo service:

1) Read our Help page by clicking – This will probably answer your question about Bebo.

2) If you still have a question, then please contact us with your question by clicking –

Bebo, Inc., 795 Folsom St, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA.


Outrageous? You tell me.

It’s been a couple of days since I requested an explanation from Bebo folks, but apparently they don’t even care to respond. The only saving grace is that I wasn’t using Bebo for Google reputation management, so the change inflicts little damage for me.

Let this be a warning. Don’t ever rely 100% on your social networking profile for brand building. Bebo–and perhaps others–can and will change your profile without warning.

PS. Did this happen to you? It’s happened to others.

  • Tanner (does Utah marketing)

    Scary. I remember reading something about this exact same thing happening to a big blogger a few weeks ago. I’m glad nothing like this has happened to me.

  • Pingback: Bebo Is Forcibly Changing Usernames()

  • Pingback: Bebo Is Forcibly Changing Usernames  »TechAddress()

  • Tiffany

    Thanks God I don’t use this service. And will never!

  • James Mann

    That would be most frustrating. I had the same thing happen on a forum I belonged to. One day I couldn’t log any longer. I couldn’t even contact them because you needed to be logged in to get to the form.

    Eventually I started a new account, contacted them and found out what they did. They said they sent emails but that doesn’t help if you don’t actually received them.

    It’s a very uneasy feeling when that happens.

    James Mann’s last blog post..Bum Marketing In A Nutshell

  • Hubcaps

    That is just ridiculous

  • Ami Ohayon

    Just so long as they don’t go changing other details too …

    You’re a fan of Adam Sandler movies? Oh no, much too low-brow. Try these French art movies instead.

    Oh, you’re thinking of buying a Prius? No, no, get a Suburban instead!


    (But it’s a lousy idea, I agree.)

    Ami Ohayon’s last blog post..From Jerusalem to Boston

  • Pingback: » Is Social Media Starting To Rebel? Social Marketing Journal - Social Media Marketing Blog()

  • PS3

    That is totally outrageous, surely if they have a problem with user names that would be identified at the point of signing up? Even worse is to make the change without prior warning.

    Will be interested to hear the explanation.

  • iPod Fan

    This takes the p!ss. Why would they change your name without warning you. Are users able to change their names after sign up as surely a friendly email telling you to would have been more appropriate?

    Another reason why Facebook is better.


  • Pingback: » Bad username schemes()

  • Otooo

    Are u serious? – so that must be the reason I don’t use Bebo

    Otooo’s last blog post..Freebies: Enter The Contest

  • Ashley

    It is ridiculous to change your username without warning. It is not a good polictics of Bebo and I am happy that don’t use it.

    Ashley’s last blog post..Jingle Bell Rock Lyrics

  • tmdesigner

    Never used that service!..nice so!

  • Pingback: Rebellion! Personal Branding and Social Media? |

  • Utah SEO Pro

    And yet another reason why Bebo sucks.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..Building an SEO Friendly Site – SES San Jose 2008 Presentation

  • Sakib

    horrible at all. I am using bebo but for that reason I have to leave this service.

  • Otilia @ Ad Ops Online

    Please do post an update if you [ever] receive an answer. What security risk posed your initial username? How was you new username decided? Insane.

    Otilia @ Ad Ops Online’s last blog post..Five Taps Brightcove to Launch Advertising-Supported Internet Video for Top News and Entertainment Web Properties

  • SEO forums

    That really ridiculous….I’ll never use it now.

    SEO forums’s last blog post..Backlinks.Com – Make easy money with your Blog

  • Free Consoles

    Bebo is terrible! My girlfriend is a teacher and her profile was changed from private to public without her approval, allowing all her school kids to see her private photos and information!

    I don’t use bebo anymore as a result.

  • joanne

    I never did like bebo.
    i will stick to facebook

    joanne’s last blog post..How To Get Free iPods