AOL has pulled off a major move in acquiring the social network Bebo for $850 million in cash from under the noses of Yahoo and other companies which had been rumored to be after the social community.
Bebo is based out of the UK, San Francisco and Texas and has become the social network of choice among British Internet users and those in commonwealths, being the #1 social network in Ireland and New Zealand.
With 40 milllion worldwide members, Bebo will introduce a new outlet for AOL’s Platform-A behavioral driven advertising, AOL search and AOL properties to grow in conjunction with (Bebo is currently a Yahoo advertising partner).
Bebo will also help AOL with its International expansion plans, as AOL has launched 17 international web sites over the last year and has plans to expand to 30 countries outside the U.S. by the end of 2008. Also expect AOL to integrate Bebo’s social technology into their current network.
“Bebo is the perfect complement to AOLs personal communications network and puts us in a leading position in social media,” said Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO, AOL. “What drew us to Bebo was its substantial and fast-growing worldwide user-base, its vision of a truly social web, and the monetization opportunities that leverage Platform-A across our combined global audience. This positions us to offer advertisers even greater reach and marketers significant insights into the desires and needs of consumers.”