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Summary:

Business Week’s Social Netwoking Gold Rush had highlighted how social networks became the new black. And apparently, people, err… investors can’t get enough of them. Well, two more social networks have raised money. Rafat Ali has the details on the $15 million investment received by Bebo, […]

Business Week’s Social Netwoking Gold Rush had highlighted how social networks became the new black. And apparently, people, err… investors can’t get enough of them. Well, two more social networks have raised money. Rafat Ali has the details on the $15 million investment received by Bebo, a social network that is big in UK, Ireland and New Zealand. Benchmark,is the lead investor in Bebo, making this their second social networking investment. Friendster was the first, and was growing like mad when they invested.

Bebo is growing like crazy as well – it is ranked #10 by Comscore. Jeff Clavier notes that Alexa rankings put them ahead of Tagged, TagWorld, Buzznet and MyYearbook.

And there is news that Harvey Weinsten, formerly of Miramax along with ex-AOLer Bob Pittman have invested in aSmallworld.net, an invite only social network for the rich-types – aka anti-MySpace. If this is as exclusive a network, well, why not charge members for the privilege and use those funds to grow? Or is it really true – rich don’t pay for anything.

I am not sure where it is all going, but not all social networks are going to be around when the whirl-a-gig stops.

  1. What do Bebo, MySpace and Facebook have in common? They aim at the Anglosphere.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglosphere

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  2. I don’t disagree with you but for one thing: unless they ramp outrageously by spending a lot of VC $$$, many of these SNs are going to be profitable. They might not show the growth rates that are required for spectacular exits, but they might become self sustaining businesses.

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  3. “I am not sure where it is all going, but not all social networks are going to be around when the whirl-a-gig stops.”

    Certainly. The social network is much a like AOL. It was this gigantic place for everyone. Then a lot of people realized there were communities outside of Plato’s Cave (AOL).

    Where are they going? Mini, specialized communities such as I started for alphageeks/alphajunkies: Alphas Network. The thought of one’s voice and identity being lost among the masses will drive adoption of smaller and smaller communities.

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  4. The amounts of $ raised and corresponding valutions will lead to a blood bath among the generalists with but a few able to survive.

    We’ve seen this script before.

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  5. There will always be a need for “general interest” social networks such as MySpace and Bebo. However, general interest social networks are the most volatile. The user base is often fickle and subscribe to a “follow the pack” mentality. A general interest social network’s only added value is its size.

    The future of online social networks can be seen with LinkedIn and deviantART. “Niche interest” social networks will stand the test of time. They provide functionality their user base cannot live without. They are also a meeting place for likeminded individuals.

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  6. This is 1999 all over again — sixdegrees.com, planetall.com all cratered back then, too.

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  7. “To join, you need to be invited by a trusted member. “

    this is anther issue on social communitys.. where the rich maybe hording their wealth to share ONLY amongst themselves..

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  8. There is still plenty of room in the social networking scene especially among the foreign markets and certain niches. Lets not forget even here in the US with Myspace and Facebook there are still other very profitable social networks (i.e. Multiply.com, MyYearbook.com) that have a solid user base and are growing at a very healthy rate.

    -Brian

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  9. aSmallWorld – The Socialite’s Social Network…

    aSmallWorld, the exclusive invite-only social network, announced a multimillion dollar investment today.  The service has 130,000 members, and apparently makes most of its revenue through advertising (surely the Millionaires24 approach would work he…
    
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  10. I don’t see the value of multiple networks for multiple target groups. A social network is only becoming successful when its a proven online brand. Building an online brand is hard, keeping customers in the network is even harder. Multiple sites will be uncool soon. Probably one of the Big 5 will become also leading in this space, so are they all the VC’s gambling on that exit?

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