back to article AOL to sell or shutter Bebo

It's uncertain whether Bebo will or will not survive into June, but one thing is certain: the declining social networking website will no longer be under AOL's wing. In a memo obtained by PaidContent and published by Silicon Alley Insider, AOL Ventures' Jon Brod stated the obvious: It is clear that social networking is a …


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  1. BonezOz

    WT...? AOL Still exists?

    Why won't AOL die?

    1. Raymondo B

      AOL - still worth something

      AOL still has some good assets like the weblogs group - Engadget, Joystiq, Autoblog etc... And of course in the UK, Carphone Warehouse agreed to keep the name when it took over the AOL UK ISP and use its international content. It's not finished yet!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Exactly the thought that popped into my head!

      AOL was an anachronism back in the 90s - goodness knows how it's managed to survive this long.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I'm not surprised

    As far as I can tell, the only place where Bebo became the dominant social networking sites is Ireland. Probably because Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross were the Daddies of Twitter whilst London was the biggest FaceBook group.

    Anyway, thank god for that. Two down (is MySpace really alive anymore either?), two more to go then it's the end of the intermission and we can all return to the human race doing humany things once more... such as building bridges, sewers, skyscrapers and high speed trains. You know, progress. 'Member?

    1. Josco

      High speed trains?

      Bridges, Sewers and Skyscrapers maybe, but we've never managed a High Speed Train.

      I really would like to see MySpace disappear, I've never been keen on R.Murdoch.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Human race != UK

        As for HST's - oh yes we have. Typically for us though, it was killed by project management failures. We very nearly had a proper high speed system on twisty UK tracks, whereas elsewhere in the world (e.g. France, Japan) they had to build entirely new - i.e. flat and straight -infrastructure to support their high speed designs. In fact the system we came up with was so good that it did London to Glasgow non-stop faster in 1984 than the current Pendolino trains (whose hydraulic tiltng technology was bought from British Rail) can do it even now, nearly three decades later.

        Mine's the one with the "ABC", half-eaten jammie piece and tasty BR-blue thermos. AC for obvious reasons.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "Bridges, Sewers and Skyscrapers maybe, but we've never managed a High Speed Train."

        See? You just proved it.

        Slow trains: George Stephenson, 190 years before Myspace (Ante Baro).

        Bridges: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 160 years before Bebo.

        Sewers: Joseph Bazalgette, 150 years before FaceBook.

        SkyScrapers: St Hugh of Lincoln, 820 years before Twitter.

        High speed trains : Not New Labour. ETA, at least 30AB? (Anno Baro).

    2. Fibbles
      Thumb Down

      A Title Is Required

      As much as you lot like to complain about social networking sites, Facebook is actually a lot more useful for staying in contact with a large circle of friends than say email or instant messengers. Not everyone on there is playing farmville or making inane status updates you know...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Imaginary friends are not real, no matter how you came to know them

        As much as you lot like to perceive some kind of value in social networking sites, dinner parties, pubs, football matches and days at the seaside are actually a lot more useful for maintaining friendships with a reasonable number of friends than, say, sending them a Christmas card each year, attending their funerals and adding them as a friend on Facebook.

        And if you want to maintain business relationships with people who give you voiceover work or buy your products then why are you trying to win them over by merely clicking a mouse and following them on twitter. Throw an old fashioned social get-together where a load of business people in the same field all mingle and talk shop in an informal environment. Like the old days before the economic abyss we're currently leaning over. Better still, do something that makes them money and then you'll really catch their attention. Business is business.

    3. Petey

      Echo.... echo....

      "Thank GOD".

      What a waste of internet space. Better best forgotten!

    4. Ol'Peculier
      Thumb Up

      Bebo Ireland

      Yes, the Saw Doctors even penned a song about it!

    5. TeeCee Gold badge


      You really think that the sort of people who actually do useful stuff like bridges, sewers, skyscrapers and high speed trains aren't doing it 'cos they're tied up playing silly buggers on Facebespace?

      It's the "B Arkers" we're missing here, so I don't think that human endeavour is in danger of coming to a stop. Now you mention it though, my telephone's a bit dirtier than usual.....

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      There's a lesson to be learned when an exec quits running a social networking site in order to "reunite her family". Priorities, folks. Get them right.

    7. Anonymous Coward


      Just because you dont like social network sites plenty of other people do....

      personaly i do not like twitter.... but it has a right to be there and people have a right to "tweet"

      there are a lot of things I do not like about facebook but by the time you block all the dumb games, block all the stupid apps you get back to a good way of keeping up with family and friends. Yes I could put up and maintain my own personal website with all the same info but how many of the target audience would actuallt read it?

      At least they get to see the latest pics from our holidays inbetween palying farmville or mafia wars!!

  3. tony trolle

    not surprized

    myspace for the teens and (drunk) party fans,

    facebook for the adults.

    faceparty for UK teens & professional "models" & spam

    Which leaves bebo, like lycos dying

  4. Lunatik


    Dear AOL,

    Yes, we know you are skint and barely relevant in this day and age, but please don't let Bebo wither on the vine. Its closure will only lead to massed ranks of barely coherent teens infecting other less polluted channels for online discourse.

    Besides, your natural market of clueless 40-watters will likely come from the current crop of Bebo users, the ones with with names like xXx_sAmMyBaBeS1994_xXx. Don't disenfranchise them yet, think of the future monetization potential!


    The Internet

    1. Andy 68
      Thumb Up

      +1 to this


      A. Parent

    2. SynnerCal

      Save Bebo .. no sell it

      If AOL are looking for a buyer for Bebo, have they approached this Thompson geezer at the BBC? You know, the guy who's cancelling Asian Network and 6Music (which I'm listening to at the moment) and seems hell-bent on taking the Beeb's content down the age range.

      Put another way, from what I understand the "clueless 40-watters" that are Beboista's are the target audience that they're after with Radio 1 and BBC3.

      Signed, grumpy ole fella.

    3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Paris Hilton

      must contain letters and/or digits.

      is xXx_sAmMyBaBaS1994_xXx still active on BeBooHoo? He/She/It keeps sending me invites to be his/her/its friend on BeBooHoo so I can look at his/her/its pictures.

      Paris, we've all seen her pictue on the interweb

  5. Piro Silver badge

    Bebo's target market...

    ... Aren't a great bunch to market to , unless perhaps you sell cheap cider and plastic silver wheel covers..

  6. paulc

    AOL? Bebo?

    I though they died years ago...

    Bebo? wtf is Bebo... the name was useless... doesn't describe it... (yeah, I know Google doesn't describe it either, but there are exceptions)

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      There fixed it for you

      according to Yahoo! Answers, google is a corruption of Googol (10^100)and was picked to indicate the number of places you could access.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      bebo stands for

      blog early blog often. And I'm so ashamed that I know that that I'm posting anonymously.

  7. P Saunders

    Grant left out one key objective

    Bankrupt ourselves into oblivion

  8. Count Ludwig


    There goes my neologism - "bebo-sitting": staying at your sister's place while she's away to make sure your 16 year old nephew doesn't advertise a party on Bebo and cause 200 teenagers to come and trash the place.

    Mine's the one with the spare key in the pocket.

    1. Spleen


      Good pun, but in all the stories I've read of that ilk, Facebook was the channel used to spread the word. Can't we therefore call it "face-sitting"? I'll just Google it to make sure it's not already taken... oh.

  9. Walking Turtle

    Reminds me of the time...

    a few years back when there was still a Seeming of Magick attached to the then-nuovo Web 2.0. A friend and I literally squicked-out a wiretapping eavesdropper who had (I had long suspected from Peripheral Backward-Pressing Business Effects, but had been vociferously tagged 'paranoid' over by self-interested others no longer in my association, with no real way to prove anything prior to this incident) hooked into the telco trunkline pair serving this one's office. Friend asked quite innocently, "So what do *you* think of Web Two Point Oh?"

    In a heartbeat there emerged the Definitive Impression by way of Telling Response: "Web Two Point Oh!", this one emitted in stentorian tones, with Nothing Aforethought at All. "Your Badger - on DILDO BRAINS!!"

    The which entirely spontaneous Telling Utterance, oddly enough, was met on-the-spot with exactly one rather loud and apparently quite horrified gasp, followed hard on its heels by not a mere ninety-volt broken-contact click but instead a full-scale brick-force mechanical "KLUNK!" as the sudden-disgusted wannabee Criminal Interloper hastily slammed the receiver of their own mal-connected instrument down full-force into its cradle, entirely missing the switch-hook on the first pass. (Cheap Chinese phones often do that...)

    We both re-learned the Full Genuine Eternally True Meaning of the time-honored "ROFLMAO" expression anew immediately and for at least five minutes following. Howled and pounded and stomped and hooted like, well, the Wild Human Injuns that we is, really.

    As for the AOL/Bebo thang: Prior Spontaneous Evaluation surely applies, to that one as well as to (imvho) all manner of Social Cloud Networking Holes, no matter what snibbsy tag such thangs be given by their dreamers-up.

    Nice to be informed that Web 2.0 itself is really only made of Badgers' Paws, though. :)

    1. J 3


      What is this, an amanfromMars generic?

      1. Baskitcaise

        £12`s worth by the look

        Someone must have paid their El Reg dues early and used the AMFM generator button option.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Last week I finally decided to...

    ...sign up and have spent hours perfecting my Bebo profile. I thought it would help in my search for a tech job.

    I feel very sad now and also a bit angry at the mendacious men in gray suits who have made this decision.

    Bebo was such a force for good. And now they want to take it away.

    1. Ben Holmes


      ...signing up to Jobsite would've been more productive, no?

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      A tech Job...

      try linkedin, I believe it's a bit popular with job agencies.

  11. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    ...all those spotty teenagers and paedos will be back to hanging around council playgrounds and shopping centres then!

  12. MinionZero

    $850m?! ... Oo

    I wish I had so much money that I could write off $850m!

    Amazing how anyone can write that amount off and yet still keep their high paid job! Every AOL share holder should call for every manager in AOL to be instantly fired for a mistake of that magnitude!

    $850m just like that, its incredible.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Every manager?

      So, like, the guy who handles the art department at Engadget should be fired because AOL paid too much money for Bebo? That's harsh, man.

    2. BonezOz

      $850m is nothing!

      I worked for Nortel Networks during the time when they literally wrote off a $9b aquisition (sic). Mind you it caused their shares to plumet from $80 a share down to $8 a share, but hey, at the time they thought they could write it off with little consequence, now look where they're at.

  13. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Oh, What...

    ...the AOL-Time Warner merger could have been had it not been for the clash of cultures.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is 1 simple reason Bebo failed...

    and that was the hideous profile "themes" that it allowed.

    Bebo had all the same features and "Apps" (Farmville etc), and even outshone Facebook in some areas (think music), but the themes used by the majority of Bebo users are enough to induce instant migraine in anyone unfortunate to view them. Hence why most people stayed away in droves.

    By keping personal customization to a minimum and sticking to a simple clean theme for everyone, Facebook managed to keep the user numbers climbing, and the app developers and ad pushers interested.

    I for one will not miss Bebo one bit!!

  15. lukewarmdog

    Human Wrongs

    "personaly i do not like twitter.... but it has a right to be there and people have a right to "tweet""

    I don't see it on the UN list of Human Rights. I've texted them to sort it out.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge


      You think you're funny, but now look what you've gone and done.

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