What to do when customers aren't flocking to your site as much as the others? Create a platform that keeps users updated with any information they have registered to receive from anywhere on the web, including rival social media websites. That's what. And that's exactly was Bebo has done.
Referred to as the Lifestream platform, it will be available to users in six languages and will feed Bebo members activity updates from other social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. The exciting launch comes as Bebo expands into France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands and incorporates a range of international entertainment and media channels into its Open Media platform.
Bebo, who is owned by AOL, boasts 22 million unique users worldwide, a figure while strong, pales in comparison to Facebook's self-reported 175 million users. There are plans to partner with brands like AlloCine, RTL's German video portal Clipfish, Telecom Italia's Yalp!, Diagonal View and Filmtrailer, so that Bebo users can easily access content in their language of choice.
Connecting Locally and Globally with Others
While much of their latest release focuses on their reach throughout Europe, the centerpiece is really the Lifestream platform. It aims to allow local users to "connect with other users, entertainment and brands, both globally and locally".
In order to increase viral opportunities for media owners and publishers Bebo has created a "Share on Bebo" link for publisher sites, allowing them to create a two-way conversation between their site and Bebo. When a user signs up to that media content a status update will alert his entire network, thus driving traffic back to the media owner or publisher.
A year later, we pose the same question, is Bebo the NEW future of social networking? Bebo is strategizing to be a small fish in a very big pond and struggling to keep up as a consequence. Perhaps the better question is, what is the future of Bebo?