Do you remember Bebo? Asking because I don’t. Also asking because they might be on a comeback trail. I know right?! If this actually happens, Bebo would become the Rocky Balboa of social networking.
Bebo dominated the British internet scene during the 90’s until Facebook came along. It was sold to AOL for $850 million in 2008 and suffered an untimely end.
Bebo’s founder, Michael Birch bought the app back from AOL in 2013 and along with business partner Shaan Puri relaunched it last week.
The new Bebo is completely from the one that people were used to in the 90s. It is no longer a social network. Instead, it is a chatting application now.
You can create your custom avatar now. This includes picking your hairstyle, clothes skin tones and accessories. You can chat with your friends over the app and customize your avatar by using hashtags. There isn’t a set list of hashtags that you can use. You will figure out the correct apps while using the app and that’s how the founders want it to be.
It would be immature to dismiss the new Bebo as yet another chatting app. With the new customisable avatars, it holds the potential to do for messaging what emoticons did for texting; add a layer of personalisation and sentiment. It really matters these days because we’re inching towards a world where chatting is the first method of communication.
There is also the fact that the chat market is inundated with apps, and Bebo will have a hard time trying to download it and start afresh. Add to it the point that using avatars is not the natural way to chat, Bebo has quite some task on its hands.
One thing is for sure, we all love a good comeback…so we will be rooting for Bebo!