Internet company AOL has announced plans to sell or shut down the social networking site Bebo.
The company said it was unable to provide the "significant investment" Bebo needed to compete with its social networking rivals.
The news comes just two years after AOL bought the site for $850m (£417m at the time).
A strategic evaluation of the company is expected to be completed by the end of May.
2:42 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
It looks like AOL finally admitted what many of us have been saying for years now. Social networks are not easily monetized.
I can’t wait for someone to buy facebook or twitter for $50 billion…
3:29 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
what is bebo?
They should have let AIM users know about this. It looks like you can log right in with your AIM user name and pass so if they just would have let the users know they probably could have picked up a good following... maybe.
3:34 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
Bebo is very popular in the UK, but it doesn't seam to have had anywhere even close to that success anywhere else.
4:03 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
social networking in general seems very bubbly, Rise fall, don't rise at all. Look at myspace...friendster. I don't see how any of them can stick around long term.
4:24 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
That was IMO the absolute dumbest purchase of all time. I knew it had exactly 0% chance of succeeding. The 2 people who sold it are no doubt laughing their asses off at AOL.
6:23 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
AOL is on a roll! Developing a wee bit of a reputation for failure, aren't they?
9:47 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
Didnt they just offload buy.at also....
10:53 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
Bebo is very popular in the UK...
The population of working age people in the UK is around 40 million people. AOL paid $850 million to reach that audience? What a bonehead thing to do.
2:23 am on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
Social networks where people ramble general stuff and share photos are always gonna be tough competition - there is place only for a few best services and they exchange top positions very easily with new feature introductions. The problem is if someone builds something better than facebook - people will shift there - if the new service can create a easy way to import everything from facebook that is.
6:50 am on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
Paying 850 million was silly. Shutting it down if its turning a profit would be equally silly. If its losing money by all means find a quick buyer and eat your loses or turn it off to stop the drain... but learn!
7:12 am on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
Sometimes early leaders in fads fail while those who follow in their footsteps (almost) succeed. The problem with social networking is not who is visiting, but how can I sell something to those visitors these days. The web is not like the eye candy of a local mall, though too many make the mistake of thinking it is. Even savvy folks like AOL who did much to promote the use of computers to connect, if anyone is being honest (late 1980's) and did so even before there was an internet. AOL is one of those transition companies from one paradigm to another. I remember GEnie, Compuserv and Prodigy... and AOL smoked 'em. :)
When I was running my BBS I was scrambling to put as many lines up as they had (they: 48, me: 2). Those were the days!
9:13 am on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
"the population of working age people in the UK is around 40 million people. AOL paid $850 million to reach that audience? What a bonehead thing to do."
I'm in the UK. Bebo is only used by chavvy kids and teenagers. Fairly certain not one of them has a job ;)
9:42 am on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
I personally think bebo could easily be a very successful website, its already very popular, they just need to automate more as to cut administration costs, then advertise it in other countries. Market it as the Facebook for children, which it essentially is. Its a dodgy market to be in, as safety must be kept up, but its also a huge market that bebo could completely fill.
12:12 pm on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
As I understood it, bebo runs on facebook's software. So apps that were built for facebook would work on bebo too. Or, that's what a rep from bebo said when I met him a couple of years ago... they were in the process of migrating over to the FB system.