Time Warner Inc’s AOL Internet division will buy social network Bebo for $850 million in cash. This could trigger a buying spree of social networking site following Rupert Murdoch New Corp’s $580 million on Myspace back in July 2005. Privately-owned Bebo claims about 40 million global members, and the deal promises to significantly expand AOL’s growing business of selling advertising on the Internet outside of the United States.
Why is Bebo Worth So Much?
– One of the top social networks in Britain (market leader in Ireland and New Zealand)
– Number 3 in the United States according to AOL, after News Corp’s MySpace, and Facebook.
– Stats from Comscore in January show that Bebo is the 8th most popular site in US.
– Bebo’s Alexa ranking is constantly in the border of top 100.
– Aimed at a younger audience than the college-favorite Facebook and it boasts that its users spend an average of 40 minutes on the site each day contacting friends, sharing photos and discovering new music.
Bebo had quite a hard time pouching audiences from Asia compared to other social networking sites such as Friendster, Facebook and Myspace.
I have a Friendster account but rarely log in these days as it’s getting quite boring in there when Myspace and Facebook can offer so much more. As for Bebo, they were completely out of sight from my radar.