Bebo Launches ‘Social Inbox’

Bebo today made it easier for Internet users to manage their online life by providing users with a one-stop “Social Inbox” that combines e-mail, social networking and media recommendations in one easy-to-use interface. Designed to allow consumers to organize their lives online, Bebo’s Social Inbox makes it simple for users to keep in touch with the information and people who are important to them. The Social Inbox aggregates feeds and updates from Twitter, Flickr,, YouTube, AIM and others, so users can see at-a-glance what’s going on in their online world. The new experience also offers one-click access to Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, as well as user-selected media favorites, such as videos, music and photos. In addition, more than 100 million* users of AOL and AIM can now log directly into the Bebo service,, using their existing screen names.

The new aggregation and update features delivered by Bebo go a long way toward solving the main problem facing consumers online, namely, a cluttered social networking experience with friends’ activity online scattered across the Web, living on multiple sites that require too much time and effort to access. By letting users pool key updates and information from multiple sites in one place, Bebo builds on the foundations of social networking to become the first major network to give consumers a one-stop destination from which to experience life online.

“People want the ability to stay in-touch with their contacts in real-time wherever their friends may be across the Web. The current fragmented social networking environment makes keeping up-to-date with others increasingly difficult. Bebo’s new Social Inbox is our first step in solving this problem,” said Joanna Shields, President, AOL People Networks. “By opening up our network to the most popular sites and allowing our users to pull in the best of the Internet, we are creating an environment where everyone can easily and effectively manage their online lives, no matter where the individual pieces reside.”

“By leveraging key resources and technologies from AOL and Bebo as well as from open APIs from leading social properties, we’ve been able to create a more relevant and open social experience,” said David Liu, Senior Vice President, AOL People Networks. “The Social Inbox aggregates the most relevant communications, community and content under one roof in an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Our users can keep in touch with friends and family across the Web and around the world from one single destination while at the same time continuing to explore the vast Bebo community.”

Today’s enhancements to, the first in a series of scheduled releases for early 2009, include:

•Social feed aggregation: Based on technology from newly acquired SocialThing, Bebo’s feed aggregation area enables quick and easy access to photo uploads, status updates and multiple online activities from key social networking destinations such as Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, AIM and on top of Bebo’s existing social feeds. Bebo’s Social Inbox allows social feeds to be organized in chronological order and grouped by person. A localized RSS feed reader also delivers the latest news and updates from around the globe including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands.

•E-mail aggregation: The Social Inbox gives consumers one-click access to the most popular e-mail services, including AOL and AIM Mail, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail. Users will be able to preview their e-mail from multiple accounts without having to go from site to site.

•Media Favorites: A new recommendations engine built on the foundations of Bebo’s Open Media Platform delivers the most relevant online entertainment (including video, music, groups and games) into one place. Media Favorites are based on users’ stated preferences and aggregated data such as: what their friends are watching and listening to and what people like them like, subject to appropriate privacy settings. This feed pulls in current Bebo content and group subscriptions, making it easy to get a quick snapshot of all personalized content. Bebo already boasts one of the most extensive online media offerings available, with programming from over 500 media** companies including MTV, ESPN, CBS and the BBC.

In May of this year AOL announced that Bebo would form the centerpiece of its newly created People Networks business unit, uniquely positioning it to capitalize on the exploding social media space by providing a more personal experience for consumers. Today marks a significant move in delivering on this promise to users and is the first in a series of planned announcements scheduled for early 2009.

Since its inception, Bebo has established a radical new vision for online media, combining community, self-expression and entertainment, enabling its members to consume, create, discover, curate and share digital content in entirely new ways.

In November 2007 Bebo’s groundbreaking Open Media platform revolutionized the social media experience and ushered in a new way for users to experience content online, while giving global media companies like MTV, CBS, BBC and more than 500 others, a new way to promote, distribute and monetize their programming. Bebo also broke new ground with the blending of Web-native original content and interactivity in the social networking environment by co-producing a series of quality Bebo Originals including “KateModern”, “Sofia’s Diary”, “The Gap Year”, “The Secret World of Sam King and “Model.Live”, generating more than 120 million** views.

In December 2007, Bebo opened its platform to external application developers becoming the first social network to embrace both Facebook and OpenSocial APIs. To date, more than 13,000 applications** have joined the network.

About BeboBebo is a popular social media network. Building on the notion of traditional social networking Web sites, Bebo combines community, self-expression and entertainment to enable its users to consume, create, discover and share professional and user-generated content through the Bebo Web site. Bebo has a total membership of more than 49 million** registered users worldwide. Bebo’s global users spend an average of 25 minutes* a day on the site.

Bebo forms part of AOL’s newly created People Networks business unit which combines Bebo, the AIM and ICQ personal communications networks, widget technology company Goowy Media, social search and answer service Yedda and social aggregation service Socialthing!, People Networks’ collection of community platforms reaches 92 million* unduplicated users worldwide. Bebo is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL LLC, a majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, October 2008

**Bebo number, internal

Contact Info:
Sarah Gavin
AOL People Networks, Bebo
+44 (0)207 291 4903
[email protected]