8 Apr 2010

BEBO for sale

It appears that AOL are unwilling to provide the level of investment they feel Bebo would require to compete with its social networking rivals - i.e. Facebook - according to a BBC story.

AOL bought Bebo two years ago for a, frankly, pretty optimisitc $850m (£417m given the exchange rate at the time), but are unlikely to recoup even half of this from the sale according to analysts.

While this is broadly in line with AOL's stance to slimline the business since the demerger from Time Warner, chronic under-investment since the purchase has meant Bebo's audience in the UK has fallen by 50.3% since February 2009, whereas Facebook has increased its UK audience by 38.1% over the same period.

It'll be interesting to see who, if anyone, puts their hand up to take on the social network with Yahoo rumoured to be on the march with an appraoch to Foursquare.