Search Results for: bebo

AOL’s Bebo Acquisition: A Social Network Bubble or Not?

As you’ve probably heard AOL today announced the acquisition of social networking site Bebo for $850 million.

Sure, we could discuss how this will help AOL turn AIM and ICQ into an uber-social network. We could also discuss how Yahoo and Google let this slip from their grasp. But, here’s the question I’d like to ask…

Does this prove that social networks are approaching their own “bubble?”

For the past year, we’ve heard rumors that Bebo is up for sale. Valuations have typically placed the social network in the $1 billion to $1.5 billion price range. Now, after weeks of speculation that internet users are tiring of social networks, Bebo sells for just $850 million–almost half the top-end valuation thrown around last year.

Rumor Mill: Google to Buy Bebo

bebo logoTechCrunch speculates that there’s a 51% chance that Google might buy Bebo—or maybe MySpace will snap up the smaller social networking company. Last year, it was Yahoo that was supposed to be making a $1B offer on Bebo. This year’s guesses are similar—$1B to $1.5B.

TechCrunch explains that the move would almost double Google’s social networking audience, with Orkut’s millions of members worldwide plus Bebo’s non-US English-speaking market. Erick Schonfeld also notes that MySpace could assure its worldwide dominance by buying the #1 social network in several English-speaking countries.

Bebo has an exclusive partnership with Yahoo for display and video advertising. They initially signed on to Google’s OpenSocial, but soon also accepted Facebook’s platform as well.

Did Yahoo Buy Bebo for $1 Billion?

TechCrunch is reporting rumors–for the umpteenth time–that social network Bebo has been acquired for $1 billion. While TC’s betting on Google, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see Yahoo as the buyer.

Yahoo desperately needs to reinvent itself–which likely means ditching its search aspirations and focusing on its huge network of users. At this time, nothing would be a better shot in the arm than to emerge as a huge social network–something it can do with an acquisition of Bebo.

It would also give current investors an alternative path to consider alongside the option of simply hosting a fire sale. It would also make any hostile takeover bid by Microsoft a lot tougher to achieve.

Et Tu, Bebo? Part Tu Two

bebo and yahoo sittin in a treeIt’s not enough that Bebo, too impatient for Google to finish OpenSocial, announced their own, Facebook-compatible platform today. No, then Yahoo adds insult to injury: they were one of the by-invitation-only developers who were informed of the announcement in advance so they could have their Bebo apps ready at launch.

And they do. Yahoo announced today that they have two Bebo applications designed to increase their cross-platform dominance portability and accessibility. The applications integrate Yahoo Answers and Yahoo Music into users’ Bebo profiles.

The Yahoo Music app’s utility should be pretty obvious—if you haven’t seen the music-sharing, music-rating and other music-related apps from iLike and imeem on Facebook, then . . . you’re not a member, are you?

Rumor Mill – Yahoo in $1b Talks with Reluctant Bebo?

Yahoo has a billion dollars and its burning a hole in the corporate pocket. After failing to convince Facebook to sell for a $1 billion, Yahoo has turned its affections to another popular social network, Bebo.

Bebo is very popular in the UK, so you can see why the press over there is jumping on the rumors.

Yahoo! is rumoured to be weighing a $1 billion (£500m) bid for Bebo, the privately owned social networking site, after shuffling its management team to better place itself for acquisitions….Given Bebo’s strength in Britain, an approach by Yahoo! would be likely to involve Toby Coppel, the Yahoo! executive who previously led the company’s global mergers and acquisitions team and was recently appointed managing director of the group’s operations in Europe.

Is Microsoft Trying To Be Social or Candid?

Reuters has reported that Microsoft will partner with Bebo – the largest social networking site in the UK and a network that is hunting down MySpace and Facebook in the US.

Windows Live Messenger will be integrated with the Bebo system to allow instant messenging between members, in addition to the import and export of contacts across both user bases.

Joanna Shields, president of Bebo’s international business, confirmed why the alliance was good for them:

Our core strength is not building applications. We’re more of an open platform and much more likely to partner than build it ourselves

According to Shields, about 90 percent of Bebo users already use Windows Live IM services, making Microsoft the most logical partner.

Whither Facebook?

Duncan Riley at TechCrunch today explores the options for still-indepedent Facebook. With talk of Yahoo eyeing a $1B price tag on Bebo, it looks like Facebook is in a good position to get far more—but from whom? In the comments, Michael Arrington predicts an IPO for Facebook next year.

Meanwhile, Hitwise released statistics on social networks today. MySpace still leads the pack with 79.7% of visits last month. Bebo was doing respectably among the rest, with 1.28%. Facebook received 11.47% of visits during April. (The remaining 7.55% was spread among Imeem, BlackPlanet.com, Tagged, Yahoo! 360, Xanga, hi5 and Gaiaonline.com.)