Bebo is a social network that allows users to interact and share media online. The user can create their own customizable profile and post videos and photos for the Bebo community. Just like other social networks, Bebo allows users to post updates and send messages to keep friends, family and others on their contact list “in the loop.” The application has also added some online games that can be played with others through the site. The homepage features an ever-changing user activity feed so newcomers can see what’s going on within the Bebo community. The site also offers users a dating area for single users who are interested in connecting and possibly starting a dating relationship.
Bebo was founded in 2005 by Michael Birch and Xochi Birch as an alternative to MySpace, one of the first social networking websites. The site was acquired by AOL on March the 13th, 2008 for $850m. AOL sold Bebo.com to private equity group Criterion Capital Partners in 2010 for less than $10m.
Social networks are found everywhere on the web. It is difficult to make a product that is completely original. Bebo stands out because it combines all the standard social networking elements along with a few extras. Users can play online games together through Bebo and possibly meet a potential date through the site’s dating page.
Bebo welcomes users with a dark header and red and white background. The faded color scheme gives the site a somewhat charming feel. The user can find a handful of light grey links that run across the top of the page, inside the dark header. The website includes a number of advertisements as well, and these are not always kept out of the way however they can be ignored for the most part.
A new user can join the Bebo community by clicking one of the buttons provided on the homepage. Near the center, the user can find a blue button to sign in with a Facebook account and a gold button to sign in with an AOL account. Users who prefer to create a new account can click the dark blue “Join Bebo for Free” button to the left. The registration form asks the user to provide a full name, email address, password, gender, date of birth and security code. A check box is also available under the date of birth drop down boxes that allows the user to hide their age from their public profile.
Bebo works much like other social networks and offers free access to all users. The site includes advertisements, which inevitably help offset operational costs. Charging a fee would deter new users from signing up, and social networks like Bebo need more people to thrive.
Bebo is another social networking option for users who love to socialize. The website also provides users with fun online games to play together and dating tools to help singles connect with others.