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Summary:

It’s official — AOL (NYSE: TWX) now owns Bebo, closing the $850 million acquisition roughly two months after making it public. The social m…

imageIt’s official — AOL (NYSE: TWX) now owns Bebo, closing the $850 million acquisition roughly two months after making it public. The social media network will not stand on its own; instead, AOL is combining Bebo, AIM, ICQ and its other community platforms into a new business unit known as the People Networks with some 80 million unduplicated users. Joanna Shields, who led the sale as president of Bebo, joins AOL as president of the new unit and corporate EVP. Shields (via video chat) and Grant spoke at our EconSM conference late last month but couldn’t discuss detailed plans. They went deeper in a joint interview on the eve of the People Networks’ announcement.

AOL’s Platform-A will handle the new unit’s advertising with the exception of an existing deal between Bebo and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) for the UK, Ireland and Australia. As for international strategy, Shields told paidContent, “We’re going to match AOL’s international strategy throughout the rest of this year.” On the ad side, “we’ll be definitely leveraging assets of Platform-A for the expansion of Bebo.” And what about branding? Could ICQ be rebranded? AOL president and COO Ron Grant said carefully: “We are committed to looking at what’s the right brand for the right audience. We have unified the back end (of AIM and ICQ) to make sure the technology platform is unified and open.” Bebo

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  1. ICQ 2 go fan Monday, May 19, 2008

    Really cool news.

  2. Ferodynamics Monday, May 19, 2008

    I think Bebo takes some steam out of Myspace/Facebook, but not much.

  3. I think Bebo is better than both myspace and facebook, solely due to its easy to use interface. I do hope though that the inclusion of aps etc… do not overcomplicate thinks and make a good thing go bad.

  4. i agree with the above comment i prefer bebo due to the fact you can customize your layouts with bebo skins

  5. This Bebo company is going to be huge. I wonder what it will be in the future.

  6. Although Bebo does offer a very good experience it just hasn’t reached the same popularity of facebook or My space.

  7. Leonel Marshal Monday, March 15, 2010

    I don’t think Bebo will get that big.

  8. Anyone with a clue on Bebo’s current market share?

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