Forgotten social network site Bebo relaunches
Back from the dead – site that was sold for $850m in 2008 and two years later was worth only $10m
The forgotten social netorking site Bebo has been relaunched with a new look as it tries to regain some of the ground it has lost to social networking behemoth Facebook over the last five years.
Bebo, founded in 2005, was the most used networking site in Britain until its popularity peaked in 2007. When it was bought a year later for $850m by AOL its star was already on the wane. The site's new owners could do nothing to stop the rise of Facebook and Twitter.
Two years after buying Bebo - which stands for Blog Early, Blog Often - the new owners decided to either shut it down or offload it. In the end it was sold to Criterion Capital Partners for the knock-down price of just $10m.
Now, with investors like former Channel 4 chief executive Michael Jackson on board and the man who founded Bebo in the first place, Michael Birch, involved once again, it is hoping to reclaim some lost ground.
The new-look site has several features that Facebook lacks, most notably the ability to check who has been looking at your profile.
It also allows users to do more than 'like' content on the site. Members will be given a choice of reactions to other posts - including "cool", "sorry" and "OMG". It also aims to give users more control over who and what appears in their news feed.
But the new owners have accepted the dominance of Facebook and will allow content from other sites to be integrated into theirs. Bebo users can even log in through Facebook.
Bebo in its heyday also catered to a younger audience than sites like Facebook, which has a minimum age of 14, and the relaunched site hopes to do so again. Chief executive Adam Levin told the Telegraph: "Bebo is going to be the social network that offers lots of content, games, and just be a place of fun online." ·
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