Business / Tech

Bebo Is Back With A #Bang

Bebo was a very popular social network for a few years, and it was actually one of the most popular in the UK. It was sold and bought by AOL then completely died. The previous owner bought the business back from AOL after Bebo’s use declined significantly for over a 99% discount at $1 million. Now that Michael Birch, the creator and current owner, has acquired his business again, he’s bringing it back. This isn’t just a simple addition of features and flat, pastel makeover, this is something completely different. In fact, pretty much everything has changed, except for the name, that is.

The revamp comes in the form of a messaging app. This isn’t any old messaging app whose biggest new feature is the ability to send a voice message. No, Bebo is probably the most entertaining and hilarious messaging app you will come across. First you start with an absolutely ridiculous avatar that you create yourself. They have a pretty decent selection of traits for you to personalize; I would be surprised if you couldn’t find a hair style or eye shape that didn’t look a little like you, even remotely.  Here’s the one I made:

Bebo Avatar

Bebo Avatar

Once you’re in and your avatar is made, all you need is someone to message with. If you don’t know anyone on Bebo yet, you can message the “teambebo” account.

Now to put your avatar to work. Hashtags play an integral role in the Bebo messenger because, anytime you hashtag something and send it off to your friend(s), Bebo will generate an image of your avatar that relates to the word that you just hashtagged. For example if I say, “Hey you, cheeky #monkey”, Bebo will return:

"Hey you, cheeky #monkey"

“Hey you, cheeky #monkey”

Or, “Want to go the #movies on Christmas eve?”, Bebo will generate an image of your avatar at the movies with the avatar of the person you are interacting with.

"Want to go to the #movies on Christmas eve?"

“Want to go to the #movies on Christmas eve?”

The pictures show up like you might expect and when they are tapped you can view the larger version. As I have done, you can just download and share your generated photos, or just share directly from the app.

Screenshot of the Bebo App

Screenshot of the Bebo App.

After playing around with the app for a little while, it is apparent that while the hashtags work exceptionally well, it will only actually create an image for more generic hashtags. As you can see from the screenshot above, #Sony did not generate an image, but #hack did. The very nice “teambebo” suggested that I try #twerk, so that happened. Never again. Generally, though, if you hashtag a single word that isn’t a name of something too specific, an entertaining picture will be created within a few seconds or sometimes even less.

Other hashtags will launch an in app feature, the most notable being #draw which will open a white screen you can draw on, reminiscent of the old Bebo whiteboard. You can then send your masterpiece to your friends, or download it.



Overall this is a very creative comeback for Bebo to be making. I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Birch could sell this new company at quite a pretty penny in a few years time as well.

Do you see yourself ever using the new Bebo? Did you use Bebo in the past? Will you use it again? Let us know in the comments or social media…or Bebo: reddoorhandle.

  Source:The Telegraph
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