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Bebo chief reveals plan to take on Facebook and Twitter

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Summary | 7 Annotations
Bebo's co-founder plans to relaunch the social network with a focus on profiles and "real-time" interactions between friends rather than the news feeds at the core of Twitter and Facebook.
2021/02/03 13:43
Bebo - an acronym for "blog early, blog often" - was once the most popular network in the UK, as well as being big in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. At its peak it had more than 40 million members.
2021/02/03 13:43
"We're calling it live social networking - when you're logged into Bebo, you are aware of which other friends are online," he says, explaining his plan from his home in the British Virgin Islands."You can interact with them in real-time. You can comment on their photo on their profile. They'll get notified, they'll come to the photo, and they may even have a conversation under the photo."It's an experiment, we'll see how it how it actually does. But we think it's a more exciting way of actually connecting."
2021/02/03 13:43
However, some of those familiar with the original Bebo are sceptical about its prospects."It's probably brave to launch a new social network in this climate when there are concerns about potential harms from misinformation spread on social media, so I hope Bebo will take its responsibilities to look after its members and their data seriously," says Kate Bevan, computing editor at Which?."But there's also something delightfully optimistic about this plan."
2021/02/03 13:43
We're going to do some nods to the past, but you're not going to log in and see the original Bebo as it was. But what we want to do is go back a little bit to this idea of a profile. That you have an identity you sort of take pride in. That you can visit a profile and see things that aren't just the latest news articles being shared.
2021/02/03 13:43
When we first did Bebo, I spent 95% of my media time talking to journalists about privacy and bullying. And those issues are still obviously as relevant today. But I think one of the most damaging things has been the spread of misinformation and people sharing things similar to what their friends believe, which self-reinforces and doesn't allow for different perspectives to be put in front of people.
2021/02/03 13:43
I've been very happy with the path that we followed. Would it have been worth more money? Almost certainly. But I've enjoyed the freedom of being able to start new things on my own and having my own path.I'm excited to have the opportunity to do Bebo again. It's very rare that you get to start something with a blank sheet of paper and rethink it from the ground up. You normally have so much legacy. In many ways it's harder to reboot a company than it is to start over.
2021/02/03 13:44