Bebo is a social network that is very popular in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand and is said to be the 3rd social network in the US.
In existence since 2005, Bebo enables users to create profiles, watch videos, listen to music and connect with their friends. In 2008 Bebo had over 34 million users and 7 billion page views per month.
The company was bought by AOL in 2008 for $850 million and was sold to Criterion Capital Partners in 2010 for a fraction of that amount.
Bebo aims to be the next generation High School and College social network. Users can blog, listen to music, share information, photos and videos. Their unique feature is called Bebo Bands and it enables bands and artists to upload their music or videos on the site and reach their fans immediately. A band profile, for example, includes the names of the band members, list of fans, and has an area for announcements such as tour dates, special appearances on TV etc. A blog for the band to write their comments and a list of songs they have uploaded for free. When fans want to have other tracks, Bebo will connect them directly to the iTune store.
Members can see the updates their friends made to this site or to other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Flicker when those friends linked their accounts to Bebo.
Bebo can create groups as well, people that graduated from a certain school for example, and the group is accessible only to the group members, similar to what Yahoo has.
In 2008 Bebo added a mobile application that can be accessed from any mobile phone on any network. Up until then, it could have been reached only by O2 Ireland and Orange UK.(Hence the popularity of the site in those countries)
This year, Bebo was ranked at number 11 out of the most popular social networking websites by eBizmba.com, with 7 million unique monthly visitors. A big decline from 34 million they had in 2008. It seems their purchase by AOL did not work out as well as most thought, but now, it might rise again.