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Epic Fail: Bebo to Be Closed or Sold By Next Month

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Social networking website Bebo will either be closed, or sold by May 2010, according to parent company AOL.

AOL bought Bebo in 2008 for $850 million — the site was originally run by Michael and Xochi Birch. Once quite popular in Australia and the UK, AOL's plans for Bebo were to introduce it to the American market, which is dominated by Facebook.

AOL relied on advertising revenue to sustain the site, and unfortunately, this plan didn't seem to work out for the social network.

Advertising revenue relies on site traffic, and Bebo hasn't been seeing much of that lately. Recent stats point out a 45% decline in traffic to Bebo compared with last year. Facebook, on the other hand, received a 68% increase from last year, at 462 million unique visitors (Bebo only managed to clock in around 12 million).

In a memo to Bebo staff, AOL states:
“It is clear that social networking is a space with heavy competition, and where scale defines success.
Bebo, unfortunately, is a business that has been declining and, as a result, would require significant investment in order to compete in the competitive social networking space”
 AOL has come to the decision to either sell the social network, or shut it down.

For me, this is sad news, as I started my online social life on Bebo, and got most of my friends on there as well. However, for Bebo's own sake, it would be better to either shut down or change its tactics; competing with a Titan like Facebook is futile.

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