Friday, November 13, 2009

Bebo attempts to reinvigorate itself

I read this morning on the Guardian website that AOL –owned social networking site for Teens Bebo are downsizing their activities and have made the decision to stop commissioning new content. Which was once considered as being their future.

Statement from Media Guardian today: “Bebo is cutting jobs at its UK operation and freezing commissions from its web TV production arm, which has been responsible for groundbreaking shows including KateModern”

The online shows on Bebo included KateModern, Sofia’s Diary, The Secret World of Sam King and The Gap Year were a great idea in attracting teenagers to regular visit the site and also provided the Bebo profit pot with large sponsorship funds from a number of blue chip advertisers.

The spokewoman at Bebo said:

"We are in the process of re-aligning the Bebo business and need to make sure that our resources are aligned with our new business mode in order to execute effectively against our future vision and stay competitive. We are therefore required to make some difficult decisions about the future of our organization and its people in order to stay competitive."

The news isn’t surprising with sites like Facebook and Twitter powering ahead and attracting the Bebo audience to move over to them with word on the street of “I’ll Facebook you” or he “Twittered me” they have struggled to remain fashionable.

Although understandable in these economic times phasing out the online TV production unit is a shame in my opinion for the engagement levels on Bebo. Plus negative news for the fans of the shows. However saying that I am in total agreement with their decision to re-focus and re-align their core social media activities at this current time.

Let’s just hope they don’t take as long as MySpace, who saw a 55% decline in market share in the last 12 months !!

All the best of luck sent to Bebo to discover their alignment and establish their future strategy.

We will be watching the responses from Sophia Diary fans as it is phased out till the end of the year. The repercussion of closing the show may even spawn a new network a TV network open to all (YouTube?) we already have a number on online networks showing repeats of shows, maybe there is room in these domains for online only shows, certainly some interesting times ahead in broadcast media.

Author: Sarah Griffiths


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