Whatever Happened to Bebo?
Editors note: Feeling nostalgic? Wondering what happened to some of those angsty teen social networks? Check out what happened to Myspace here…
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 vast numbers of 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.
No one can predict whether or not the new Bebo will be successful at all. Will it rise up to the social networking giants of today or will history repeat itself? Either way Bebo have made people eager to find out.