Believe it or not, the internet did actually exist before Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, and back then we had the glory days of MSN and Bebo.
Bebo was the golden era of social media for those of a certain age – it was actually sociable! A place where you could share love daily, draw obscene images on your friends’ wall, have a featured friend on your profile and link some questionable music choices to autoplay whenever someone visited your page,
Once the most popular social network in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, Bebo boasted more than 40 million users at its peak.
In 2008 Bebo’s original owner, Michael Birch, sold the site to AOL for an impressive £623m. The platform quickly changed and lost its user base allowing Birch to repurchase it for just £1m. The platform then became an e-sports streaming site which Twitch bough in 2019 for £25m, however, Birch ensured he kept the rights to Bebo brand as he planned to relaunch the once loved social network.
So, what’s the deal with the new Bebo, how will it work?
The relaunch has been described as a “live social networking” environment, making sense in the current video-led social media industry. The idea is that you get notified when your friends are online and receive real-time notifications when interacting with any of the media you post. This allows you to have the conversation on the post in real-time – so… like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram?
Mr Birch also stated that he wants the platform to go back a little bit to the idea of a profile that you can feel proud of, something others can visit to see your identity – not just an endless wall of news, pointless videos and countless ads. He’s also said that he doesn’t expect Bebo to reach the heights of its ’00s heyday, but wants the platform to disrupt the market and provide something different.
You have to hand it to Mr Birch for trying to keep the brand alive and take people back to a simpler time, even more so when you learn that he’s the only person developing the social network and is spending 100 hours a week coding!
Bebo has Already Banned Donald Trump!
If you head to Bebo website just now, you will see coming soon banner and the ability to enter using a beta password for the select few who are getting early access to the platform.
Also on the page, you will notice that Bebo jokes that our old photos are gone (which is probably for the best in all honesty) but the also point out that they’ve banned Donald Trump… before the site is even live!?
“On the good news front, Trump is banned from Bebo before we’ve even launched. The world really IS moving forward!” (see it here www.bebo.com)
Regardless of your opinions on the former President of America, isn’t this a little bizarre? Banning someone before you’ve even gone live? Isn’t this straight-up control of speech and abuse of power?
When did social media become so controlling and influential? We appreciate that Donald Trump was banned from Twitter because he breached their terms… however, he’s yet to use Bebo and therefore can’t have broken any rules. When you look at it in reality, he was a world leader of one of the biggest countries in the world, and now we’re just banning him from a relaunching social network.
Looking at this decision from Trump supporters’ perspective, surely this will only discourage them from using the platform, or worse, trolling the platform.
It’s a decision that probably won’t help you reach the heydays that Bebo once had, but a standpoint that Michael Birch has decided to take.
So, will we be joining?
We don’t recall the business page set up for Bebo being that great; however, Mavens may make a little appearance.
Our team are already excited to get back on Bebo and test it out and see if the relaunch gives another social platform to add to their arsenal of mediums, or if it’ll just disappear and become an afterthought once the novelty wears off.
Will you be checking out the new Bebo? Let us know your thoughts.