AOL Buys Social-Networking Site Bebo For $850 Million

AOL just announced it has agreed to purchase social-networking mega-site Bebo for a ridiculous $850 million in cash. A few months ago rumors started to spread across the internet that the Bebo, which boasts over 40 million users, was up for sale however te price tag then was a cool $1 billion dollars.

This move is definitely aimed at trying to boost AOL’s declining advertising revenue by plastering it across the popular social network. AOL Chief Executive Randy Falco was quoted as saying, “Bebo is the perfect complement to AOL’s personal communications network and puts us in a leading position in social media.” The network plus its usage of Yahoo & AOL instant messaging services will undoubtably broaden the reach of their ad sales.

Bebo announced earlier last year that it will adopt Google’s Open Social initiative, also hinting that the site would be compatible with all current Facebook applications. This places the site as a solid rival against Facebook and MySpace, which trumps the two in popularity outside of the US (as seen in the recently released map/chart below by le Monde).

[click on image to enlarge]

I guess the battle continues in the recent trend of large corporations buying out social-networks as a “quick-fix” to broaden their reach to the “community” markets…. I wonder who’s next?


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