Skip links

Whatever Happened to Bebo?

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2014. At the time, it looked as though Bebo was coming back, but the non-stop passing of years has told a different story. Below, you can find the original, unchanged article from 2014. It’s an interesting read, as it echos the sentiments that many of us had for Bebo during that time. At the bottom, you’ll find a new update regarding Bebo’s current status.  

2014 Article

Created in 2005, Bebo was well known for being one of the most successful social networking sites in the United Kingdom. Its success boasted over 10 million users and saw it speed past MySpace in the race for social network popularity. The site, like many others, allowed users to connect with people all over the world. It had a lot of comparisons to Facebook, which was released the year before. Eventually these comparisons caused a negative reputation for Bebo. It was seen as more childish and immature than before.

However creator Michael Birch acknowledges this in a 1 minute video posted on the site. Bebo can no longer be accessed by the many users it still had. The social networking site has been shut down temporarily in order for changes to be made. It is still unclear what these changes will be but it is hoped to be a whole new social network that will compete with big dogs of today e.g. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Users of Bebo will be wondering about all their old accounts. What will happen to them? All old posts and photos will be available to download for any account holder once the new Bebo is up and running. Be that as it may, a lot of the other things Bebo was famous for will not be gone. This includes things like skins, quizzes, wall posts and games.

So what are the reasons for these changes? In 2008 Bebo sold out to AOL due to its lack of success. Before this time Bebo was one of the most talked about social networking sites and was used more than Google in places like the republic of Ireland. Then it took a turn for the worst, only being used by a niche group of people. Michael Birch stated, “Bebo’s personality was fun. Weird. Creative. Anyone who was on Bebo understood that, and rocked it. Unfortunately, it lost its mojo as it grew, and the company changed ownership.’’ The creators of Bebo knew that if they made immediate changes to the site they would not see much of a change in its success so they decided to go back to basics by creating a whole new Bebo.

Anyone that is interested in the new Bebo can RSVP with their email on the website. Bellow this option there is a constantly rising number showing the amount of people who have already done this. Making the public wait for anything is a very smart move. It creates hype. By releasing snippets of information about the changes that will be made to the site, it creates a wonder in the audiences mind and gets them talking. At this rate by the time that Bebo do open their new site it will already have a very large user base.


2023 Update

So, it looks like time wasn’t nice to our old friend Bebo. With rumours flying left and right on the Internet of the OG social network’s return to the glory days, you’d be forgiven for thinking a new (or old?) era of social media was on the way. But sadly, that wasn’t the case. The lastest rumour was that Bebo was coming back on February 2021, but as you, I, and people who had access to time-machines back then know, that never happened. In fact, it looks like Bebo is finally dead and buried. The domain now redirects to Poply, an online-invitation creation tool. It’s sad to see, but it’s something we all expected to happen. Besides, would we really have all moved back to Bebo purely for the sake of nostalgia? Sure, it would have been nice to look back at our angsty status updates and cringe-inducing photos, but we’re willing to bet none of us would make the swap from social giants like Twitter and Instagram to an only-Bebo existence again. Perhaps Bebo dying is for the best. It can now live on in our minds as the first social network we ever used, where we first experienced the dopamine rush of getting “likes” and “shares”, and where we learned we’re all incredibly nosy – even if we pretend not to be. Whilst this doesn’t entirely make sense, it feels right, so we’re going to say it: Bebo is Dead. Long live Bebo! Feeling nostalgic? Wondering what happened to some of those angsty teen social networks? Check out what happened to Myspace here

want to boost sales?generate leads?increase engagement?build a community?grow brand awareness?