Blog Post

Bebo Head Brings Video Expertise to AOL

It’s great to hear that Joanna Shields will continue to head up Bebo now that it’s being acquired by AOL (even if Om thinks AOL’s rationale for the deal is “gobbledygook“). Shields was responsible for bringing KateModern, the hit show from the creators of Lonelygirl15, to the social network. She told us last year she had become familiar with the team’s skill at melding reality and fiction while working at Google and seeing their early success on YouTube.

Setting immersive fictional web shows within social networks was one of the most engaging and promising online video developments of the last year, and Bebo has been at the forefront of this (MySpace-Prom Queen was the probably the first good example). It’s one place where social-networking thought leader Facebook is way behind. With Time Warner’s expertise and power, Bebo has a chance to take the social-network-as-the-new-TV-network phenomenon to new heights.

Bebo’s next interactive drama series, Sophia’s Diary, is set to be launched next week. The site is also developing a reality travel show called Gap Year with Endemol.

6 Responses to “Bebo Head Brings Video Expertise to AOL”

  1. It’s good to see different online media content is finally getting some proper attention, it’ll encourage low budget filmmakers to work hard and give them something to aim for.

    Well done to Bebo for giving someone a chance!

  2. Def interested to see Sophia’s Diary. Bebo’s pretty good at making vid series.

    But but but. You really think Facebook would make for a good immersive fictional show experience? I’m not so sure. Facebook’s history as, basically, a college phone book — and it’s current status as obnoxious networking device (I do not caaaaare that “Robert Scoble wrote a new blog post”) — makes the idea of immersive fictional experiences kind of anathema to the site. Facebook trades on its earnestness. MySpace trades on its unpredictability (as does Bebo, I suppose, but I’ve never really used it except to watch a few vids).