Feeds

AOL to sell or shutter Bebo

$850m mistake

Top three mobile application threats

It's uncertain whether Bebo will or will not survive into June, but one thing is certain: the declining social networking website will no longer be under AOL's wing.

In a memo obtained by PaidContent and published by Silicon Alley Insider, AOL Ventures' Jon Brod stated the obvious:

It is clear that social networking is a space with heavy competition, and where scale defines success. Bebo, unfortunately, is a business that has been declining and, as a result, would require significant investment in order to compete in the competitive social networking space.

Brod then upped the obviousness ante by saying: "AOL is not in a position at this time to further fund and support Bebo in pursuing a turnaround in social networking."

Exactly two years and three weeks ago, AOL bought Bebo for a hefty $850m. At that time, Bebo was in competition with MySpace and Facebook for top social networking site. We all know which Web2.0rheic property won that battle.

At the time of the acquisition, AOL's then-prez Ron Grant enthused: "Bebo's dynamic management team recognizes that the internet is less about destination and more about connecting people, culture and lifestyles," and added that: "This acquisition supports our key objectives – accelerating the growth, engagement and monetization of one of the world’s most engaged online communities."

Grant was shown the door one year later. Two months after that, AOL exec Joanna Shields, who came to AOL as part of the Bebo acquisition, was gone as well - "to reunite her family and explore her entrepreneurial interests", as explained in a memo from AOL's then-new CEO Tim Armstrong.

Jon Brod's recent memo is less euphemistic. After announcig the "sale or shut down of Bebo," Brod notes: "Obviously this is significant news - particularly for the Bebo team." Indeed.

According to Brod, AOL is "committed to working quickly to determine if there are any interested parties for Bebo." The company's self-imposed deadline for either finding a buyer or shuttering the once-promising site is the end of next month. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.