AIM + Bebo: A Great Idea, Five Years Ago

by admin May 19, 2008 at 6:33 pm

AOL has announced that they’ve completed the purchase of Bebo, and as such, formed a new business unit called “People Networks” that combines the social network with AIM, ICQ, and other recently acquired businesses including Yedda and Goowy. Integration plans aren’t overly specific at the moment, but include “[letting] users merge AIM and Bebo profiles so they can use common screen names without re-registering.”

For AOL, this marks attempt #3 (or #4 or #5 if you go back to when AOL was the dominant ISP and everything took place inside AOL’s desktop software) at turning AIM into a major social network. First, there was AOL Journals, which tied blogging community features to AIM. Then came AIMPages, a web-based social network tied to AIM screennames. And now, rather than build something in-house, AOL has spent $850 million and will attempt to integrate AIM with an existing social network that reportedly has more than 40 million users.

Full story: