Reinvented Bebo, Now A Cartoon-y Chat App Vs Facebook Competitor

A viable Facebook competitor back in 2005, Bebo was snatched up by AOL three years later to give them some skin in the social networking game. But has luck would have it, or perhaps due to their lack of expertise, Bebo’s demise became well documented as it was quickly overtaken by Zuckerberg’s solid foothold in the space.

However, in a surprising turn of events, Co-founder Michael Birch announced recently he had bought the company back for the shockingly low price of $1 million from AOL, who had originally bought the company for a hefty $850 million only 8 years earlier - talk about a rummage sale discount!

"We just bought back Bebo for $1m,” he tweeted -- “Can we actually re-invent it? Who knows, but will be fun trying,” joked Birch.

And that’s the kind of mindset Birch has in mind to reinvent Bebo - one of humor and playfulness.

“Everybody else is trying to be very “serious” about social networking, which feels a bit strange to us,” the company said in a post accompanying the launch. “The new Bebo is for people who don’t take life too seriously.”

The early adopters are fast becoming part of the fun as the site morphed itself into a “cartoon-y’ emoji/avatar messaging app of madness.”

Available as an iOS and Android App, with a Web version about to launch, users when they first sign up, can actually create their own avatars — from photos — which become their new face on the network. By using hashtags, they can change their expressions, show maps, play music, launch games or even make their characters do things like slapping a follower’s face.

“When we decided to come back we wanted to make something people would use,' Shaan Puri, the CEO of Bebo, told MailOnline.

He runs the site for Michael and Xochi Birch, the couple who founded Bebo in 2005.

“A lot of casual conversation is about banter (and chat with attitude) - so we came up with the idea based around that,” added Puri.

This hilarious video has Brich taking you through some of the site’s ‘blue humor’ of the past, while noting that the new Bebo will also be fun, but updated.


In regards to your old Bebo profiles, the team has indicated that one's old log-ins are now defunct -- so that everyone can start afresh with new accounts.

“As for your old photos, we know how important they are to you. We have good (and not so good) photo memories on the old Bebo, and they will be available starting January 31st 2015,” notes Puri who adds you can also email him (shaan@bebo.com) with any questions you might have.

Guess that means those old “cock and balls” images will be rearing their ugly heads (pun intended) once again (makes me wonder if former U.S. representative Anthony Weiner was ever a Bebo user? -- just saying!)  

In any event, do drop us a line or comment down below, and let us know how you like the new Bebo - we're looking forward to your feedback.