AOL Considers Trashing BEBO

AOL Considers Trashing BEBO


“Blog early, blog often,” is a saying bloggers are fond of, a theme advanced by BEBO when it launched in January 2005. BEBO took the first letters of that illustrious saying to form the name of its social networking site.

British Team

laptopFounded by a British husband and wife team, Michael and Xochi Birch, AOL acquired BEBO for a whopping $850 million just three years later. Despite having tens of millions of members and regular users, AOL is not fond of BEBO and may sell it off or simply shut it down.

AOL was separated by Time Warner in May 2009 following a disastrous venture which attempted to marry a pair of old and new media companies. Time Warner paid $164 billion to acquire AOL in 2000, renaming itself AOL Time Warner to reflect the company’s new emphasis on all things Internet.

Money Loser

In 2003, AOL Time Warner was forced to write off tens of billions of dollars in losses and subsequently dropped AOL from its name. Even as the company realized its mistake in merging, Time Warner continued to pursue other ventures snagging BEBO in 2008. Again, that venture has proven to be a disaster never mind that the deal was sealed just months ahead of the worst stock market collapse of our day.

With the 2009 split of AOL from Time Warner, BEBO has continued to be a drain on AOL. Many users have left BEBO in favor of Facebook, by far the largest social networking site in the world. All that is currently offered on BEBO—file sharing, photos, groups and more—can also be found on Facebook.

Telling Memo

An internal memo shared amongst AOL employees earlier this week was later leaked, offering a telling view on what BEBO means to AOL. In part, the memo says: “AOL is not in a position at this time to further fund and support Bebo in pursuing a turnaround in social networking.” That statement is indicative of where BEBO’s fate lies: elsewhere or in the social networking history books.

Facebook’s dominance is likely to force other social networking sites to reconsider their positions on the web. Facebook may be a juggernaut, but when it comes to BEBO a bad decision sometimes is best abandoned.

See AOL’s $850 Million Mistake: Bebo to be Shut Down or Sold

Photo Credit: Jakub Krechowicz

Adv.– If you are thinking about selling your business, you need to determine its current value first, an amount based largely on what someone is willing to pay for it. If you are interested in buying a business, please check out NACBB’s current business listings to find one for you.


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Categories: Social Media

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".