Thursday, March 13, 2008

Deal Briefing: Bebo, attractive, middle level social network site bought by AOL

AOL has offered to buy middle-level, attractive social networking site Bebo for $850 million, in cash.

Founders: Michael and Xochi Birch, may leave the company after the sale
Users: 1.4m unique users in the UK; 40 million worldwide.
Minus Points: Bebeo has a small presence in the U.S.; strongest in New Zealand and U.K.In comparison, In contrast, Facebook is strongest in U.S. and ahead of Bebo even in U.K.
Plus Points: Bebo tries to combine the best of Facebook and Myspace - has Facebook'like clean look and engaging content like Myspace, including original content offerings such as Katemodern series.
Focus on user engagement: Users spend more time on Bebo. For example, UK users spend 33 minutes on the site per user day.
Potential of Social Network advertising: Results not encouraging so far but eMarketer says that by 2011, $4.1 billion will be spent worldwide on social network advertising.

Preparing AOl for a sale? Om Malik says maybe Time Warner is sprucing AOL up before a potential sale off.

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