Friday, March 14, 2008

AOL buys Bebo

Bebo, the social networking site that has pioneered the development of short online dramas such as Kate Modern, has been bought by AOL for £417m.

In The Guardian Jemmima Kiss considers the implications of the deal.
It is, perhaps, the end of a cycle - the end of the era of the major league social networks. They will increasingly have to both diversify and differentiate their communities from their rivals; MySpace is already looking increasingly unfocused and is not innovating fast enough. The new players are increasingly niche, whether that is Saga's site for the over-50s, the business community or restaurant reviews.
Jeff Jarvis is more pessimistic.
If history is any guide - and in AOL's case, it certainly is - I fear that Bebo's talented, visionary founders will leave in frustration or firings; AOL will bury the service inside its outmoded portal; and AOL will treat the people inside not as people but as ad inventory.

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