Bebo to make a comeback

Posted on December 31, 2014


A mainstay of mid-2000s social media is set to return, with Bebo announcing a new launch of its service.

This time around, the company – which was once bigger than a number of other major sites, including Facebook – is back as an app. However, a browser version is slated for release in the future.

Available on Android and iOS devices, the social platform is returning after the husband and wife team that originally founded the company bought back the rights for $1m (£638,000).

After being launched in 2005 by Michael and Xochi Birch, the site quickly increased in prominence, with many users viewing it as one of the first true social sites. At its height in 2008, Bebo was witnessing over one billion page views every week, with around 40 million active users.

However, the company was soon eclipsed by some of the rising social platforms of the time, with it losing a large number of users to Facebook and Twitter. In 2008, the service was sold to AOL for $850m (£542.4m in today’s money), which was later called by the BBC one of the greatest mistakes of the dotcom era. AOL’s CEO at the time, Randy Falco, ended up losing his job over the deal.

The revived service, however, is hoping to bring Bebo up to date for modern social media users. Shaan Puri, who is managing the firm for the Birchs, told the MailOnline that the site’s tailored news feeds will centre on casual conversation.

Adaptable avatars will act as the ‘face’ for users of the service, with hashtags used to change their expressions.

When he’s not editing web copy and news articles at work, Web Content Editor Tom sates his love for the written word by losing himself in a good book.
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  • […] the end of 2014, the original founders of Bebo, husband and wife Michael and Xochi Birch, bought back their creation for a mere $1m (£638K), leaving AOL ruing possibly the most misjudged bit of business the digital […]

  • […] worth remembering that this isn’t the first time there has been the suggestion of a Bebo “comeback”. In 2014, the year following the Birches’ bargain $1m repurchase, there was talk of Bebo […]

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