The Gamechanger: AOL Acquire Bebo In $850m Cash Deal

BeboOne of my former employers have announced that they’ve acquired Bebo
, currently ranked as the third largest social network in the US, behind MySpace and Facebook, and likely the widest used social network within Ireland. The deal sees AOL purchase Bebo in a US$850m cash deal, a price significantly higher than that paid for Intermix Media (MySpace) back at the end of 2005.

Of course, add two years worth of growth throughout the US and Europe, an opening up of the Bebo platform to accept third party applications and the price is likely to go up.

If AOL were looking for an “in” to the social networking arena, they’ve certainly got it now. The deal is expected to close some time in April, opening up a potential 40 million users to further AOL services (providing of course they’re not existing users).

I think it’s a great purchase for AOL and costs considered, it looks they’ve got themselves a decent price as well. Estimates on the sale of Bebo in the past 12 months have exceeded the US$1bn mark, TechCrunch reporting in February that Bebo may go for anywhere between US$1bn and US$1.5bn to Google while Yahoo was also rumoured to be looking into acquiring Bebo last summer.

From the announcement today, AOL chairman Randy Falco says

this deal is a “gamechanger” and will help power our strategic priorities across the board. Bebo is the best social media asset out there and has the most engaged audience and has seen great growth since its launch 3 years ago. We will be a social media powerhouse. 80 million unduplicated visitors when you count AIM and Bebo. Bebo will be connected to the largest distributed web audience and will circulate traffic from our sites to Bebo and the reverse and have the scale to grow Bebo worldwide. Joanna has impressed me with her vision for the new Web and better ways to connect and develop long-term relationship

Of course, the future of Yahoo itself has to be yet confirmed. There’s rumour today that Microsoft are set to announce their purchase of Yahoo at a 3pm press conference.

When all is said and done, congratulations to AOL on the deal, but does this mean I go back to using my ICQ account?

Update: Centernetworks has a live call with AOL (notes) here.

Social Networking Is On The Rise

My Bebo Profile
My bebo profile, click here to view.

Who would have guessed it, but social networking is on the rise, or so says the Kilkenny Advertiser.

An article by Brigid O Gorman in yesterday’s Advertiser here in Kilkenny looks at the power and rise of Bebo, although in terms of social networks doesn’t make much of a comparison (something I like out of Bernie’s media deliverables). The article looks at all the features available on Bebo and gets some quotes from a local self-confessed Bebo addict who reveals that one of the plus sides to Bebo is “the fact you can use Bebo at any time of the day”. Don’t know about you but I don’t know too many websites that shut down at 6pm when the office doors close. When this girl heads to college she might also find her opportunities to access Bebo at any time of the day quite restricted.

If its Bebo talk you’re looking for, give the article a read here (PDF format). PDF taken from Kilkenny Advertiser digital edition

Social Linking – Where Am I?

I’m not featured on pBase or hiding out as a photographer in the Caribbean but I am lurking in various social networks on the web, and this is where you’ll find me.

  • MySpace
    MySpace is mainly used through KilkennyMusic.com and my constant contact with bands. More and more I see the gigs being organised via MySpace (people preferring that to taking my email or phone number which are published online), requests for information, booking information, podcast submissions. If bands want to add me, I’m open to it though I don’t go friend-hunting on it.
  • Bebo
    Bebo is pretty much a friend-to-friend thing. If I don’t know you, I don’t want to know you. I’ve used it to keep up with college friends now dotted around the country and around the world and thats what I expect to keep doing with it. Much prefer their photo album service to that of MySpace. It also allows me the opportunity to pimp out KilkennyMusic.com to the younger generation that are ‘beboers’. (younger than myself anyway).
  • Twitter
    My train of thoughts and random comments from during the day. I also republish these back to a WordPress blog for myself to look back over certain days at a glance. 140 characters more liberating than restricting I feel. Twitter certainly has had an impact on the Irish blogosphere, turning bloggers into impulse shoppers now with the recent Nokia N770 tweet and the pure drain of stock from Expansys as a result.
  • Jaiku
    I’ve been meaning to dip into Jaiku as a Twitter alternative but only registered myself yesterday as it is being used as a back channel for PodCamp Ireland between the organisers. Instantly prefer the interface over Twitter but yet to get the full feel of the service.
  • Facebook
    Love it or hate, Facebook provides a lot of facilities for networking and social interaction along with integration of some of your favourite online haunts (eBay, Twitter, Flickr etc.). Since FB was opened up to the global population it’s use has soared and along with it the number of widgets and apps available to integrate into your homepage. I’ve only started using FB recently but given the amazing popularity of it in the US I’ve had no problem connecting with and finding family who wouldn’t touch MySpace or have heard of Bebo, especially those who prefer the professional look and feel of FB.

If you feel the need to link up with me on anything or want to reach out and say hello – don’t be a stranger. Each of the links above will have the option to subscribe, or add a friend etc. – if you use any of the above you’ll know yourself how to hook up with someone anyway. I’m sure I’ve a ‘linked-in’ profile going that is about 80% complete but when FB affords you the same opportunities and more it will be a while before the remaining 20% gets filled out.

Don’t be a stranger…

Note – the idea here stems from Krishna De’s recent post on which social network you should choose.

Bebo Now A Political Playground?

Notice to politicians… call to my front door, try flag me down in the street or have a word with me at a gig but keep comments like these off my Bebo page, blog, MySpace…. you get where its going.

Bebo Politics

If this is going to be the “in thing” now in the run up to the elections I’m gonna be mighty pissed off….