In the beginning, God created MySpace, then Rupert Murdoch bought it in 2005 and then it became old news! (see what I did there?). The purchase of Bebo by AOL in 2008 perhaps marked a similar fate for the once enthusiastic puppy of the social networking world, now it’s an old dog with no new tricks and is at the risk of falling out of favour and being replaced with a new breed.
As a prolific user of Facebook and Twitter, I can’t see much use for my stagnant Bebo account anymore. Perhaps I am just simply not the right demographic to be using it anymore and I’m aware of a few industries/clients/promotions that have utilised it successfully to market towards their target customers. I’ve actually thought about just deleting my account on a few occassions as I don’t even really use it for social networking at all, but thought I may as well keep it should I need to promote something through it in the future.
One of the main things that put me off about it (when I did actually use it) was all the games and ridiculously unnecessary rubbish that I had to look at or refuse to participate in. It has to be said that Facebook has gone down this route to a certain extent with Mafia Wars and Farmville etc. all of which I have no time for, but I can relatively easily avoid looking at them by opting to ‘hide’ them from my news feed. I wonder if this is Facebook understanding that there is the begginings of a migration of Bebo users coming over to them? Possibly even catering for this younger demographic that spend much longer on these sites per session than the original Facebook demographic.
It seems as though AOL would have to heavily invest in Bebo to make it able to keep up with the likes of Facebook, something which it doesn’t seem like wanting to do. Bebo is up for sale, it will be interesting to see if there is a willing purchaser of it, but they’ll need to have a plan in order to keep the users.
I think there is certainly a place for Bebo, I don’t think it’s necessarily the best thing for Facebook to adopt it’s users, it would slightly skew the use of Facebook for existing users to start heavily branding and marketing towards or this younger market.
If Bebo sinks, something’s got to come in and take its place.