Remember Bebo? Yeah. That's why the founder is killing the site

Bebo is dead. At least in its current form.

Michael Birch, the founder of the one-time Facebook rival, bought back the social network only to have his company shut down the site on Wednesday as it prepares to relaunch the business.

Birch explained the move in a video posted to the Bebo landing page, where he acknowledges the site just wasn't worth running anymore. Over the last seven years, Bebo went from a Facebook competitor to having a following that mirrored Myspace's. In its place will rise a completely new, built-from-scratch Bebo that will only be available on … Read more

Bebo founder buys back social network for $1M

Long forgotten 8-year-old social network Bebo, which AOL bought for $850 million in 2008, is escaping near death once again.

Original Bebo co-founder Michael Birch said in a tweet Monday that he has purchased the property from owner Criterion Capital Partners (CCP) for $1 million with plans to reinvent the site. AOL sold Bebo to CCP three years ago for reportedly less than $10 million.

We just bought Bebo back for $1m. Can we actually re-invent it? Who knows, but it will be fun trying...

— Michael Birch (@mickbirch) July 1, 2013

The social property never got close to accumulating a … Read more

AOL sells off Bebo at last

AOL has finally unloaded Bebo.

The new owner, Criterion Capital Partners, announced Thursday that it has acquired the youth-centric social network from AOL and will take over Bebo's global operations immediately while retaining its headquarters in San Francisco.

A merchant banking and financial advisory firm, Criterion Capital Partners specializes in turning around companies and, according to AOL Chairman Tim Armstrong, "is well placed to drive Bebo's effort to strengthen its foothold within the highly competitive social networking arena."

The deal was pushed through by Adam Levn, a managing partner at Criterion Capital, working with business strategist … Read more

Has AOL finally unloaded Bebo?

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong may finally have made good on his promise to figure out what to do with Bebo, the company's pricey digital albatross, by the end of the spring.

Mashable reported on Wednesday morning that Bebo had been sold; The Wall Street Journal followed up later in the day by saying that the deal is "close" but not complete and that the buyer is Criterion Capital Partners, a hedge fund based in Studio City, Calif. An AOL representative did not respond to a request for comment; a price isn't yet clear, but the Journal … Read more

AOL's Armstrong: Bebo deal 'really fell apart'

NEW YORK--AOL CEO Tim Armstrong wasn't yet at the company when it paid $850 million for social network Bebo two years ago, a purchase that's now considered to be one of the biggest tech industry M&A blunders of the past decade. On Tuesday, onstage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Armstrong said, "I don't know whether or not I would have bought Bebo. Looking backward, the answer's no, but in that time period with what was going on, maybe."

Indeed, at the time, would-be Facebook rival Bebo was extremely popular with teenagers in … Read more

AOL: Bebo not worth investment, will be sold or closed

AOL confirmed Tuesday that social-networking site Bebo will either be sold or shuttered, a victim of a highly competitive landscape and a parent company that doesn't want to invest to compete. The company will determine its fate by the end of May.

AOL, then part of Time Warner, bought Bebo for $850 million in March 2008 but struggled to build a name for itself outside of the U.K., where it's one of the most popular social-networking sites. In the U.S., it never really gained any traction. In a memo to employees, the company said:

"Bebo, … Read more

Facebook lands former Bebo CEO


Facebook is beefing up its European sales team with a big name in social networking circles: it is adding former Bebo CEO Joanna Shields, who will runs sales and business development in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

It's familiar territory for her in more than one way, since she once helped Google manage the same geography.

Shields has had a busy couple of years: Two years ago, she arranged the sale Bebo to AOL for $850 million. A year after that, she took off and ended up in a content start-up backed by Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Group. … Read more

Bebo founder drops $1 million at charity auction

NEW YORK--What's it like to watch a dot-com mogul spend $1 million? Well, it's sort of nice when it's going to a good cause.

On Monday night, at the annual benefit gala for the nonprofit Charity Water, Bebo founder Michael Birch, one of the event's co-hosts along with the likes of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and entrepreneur Sean Parker, made a surprise announcement. Shortly before the event's live auction to solicit donations for new wells, Birch declared that he would personally match all donations up to $1 million.

Charity Water, a favorite cause of the dot-com set, … Read more

AOL appoints new chief for Bebo

AOL has promoted Stephane Panier to the role of president at social network Bebo, which it acquired last year for $850 million.

Panier, who joined AOL in January after six years at Google, had previously been serving as chief operating officer of Bebo.

Joanna Shields, who was CEO of Bebo when it was acquired, left AOL in May. Before she left, Shields was head of "People Networks," a new AOL division devoted to social networks. Last week, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong announced that People Networks would be nixed in a restructuring.

Bebo has been placed in a new division called AOL Ventures, … Read more

Webware 100 winner: Bebo

Site: Category: Social & Publishing

Bebo is a popular social network based out of San Francisco. Users can create their own profiles, and in typical social networking style, list favorite bands, pictures, and activities to share with friends on the service. Like competitor MySpace, Bebo is music-centric, and provides bands with ways to share their music using band profile pages.

What may be more interesting than the service itself is its history. Bebo was the top Google search query for all of 2006, according to the search engine's yearly zeitgeist. It's also the top-visited Web site … Read more