AOL have today announced they are launching Bebo in France, Italy, Germany, Spain and The Netherlands.

Bebo is a social networking site that "helps individuals discover what's going on with their world and helps the world discover what?s going on with them". Central to this is Bebo's Lifestream platform which affords users a simple way to connect and keep up with everyone and everything and offer compatibilty with other popular sites such as YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and Myspace.

The translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch marks Bebo's continued international expansion. Bebo has already gained a strong following as a social experience in the U.K., U.S., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Poland with more than 22 million unique visitors worldwide.

Speaking about the launch Bebo Internation VP Nicole Vanderbilt,said "The proven success of our platform in the UK and Ireland positions us well to expand into these dynamic continental European markets. The social networking audience is growing rapidly and our new sites will allow local users to connect with other users, entertainment and brands, both globally and locally. The richness of our experience lies in the user?s ability to express him or herself ? as evidenced in our new Lifestory feature and in the ability to connect to people, media and brands through the Lifestream and our Open Media Platform"

On Bebo, users connect with both existing friends and with other users who share common interest and similar tastes. Through the Open Media platform and the Lifestream, they can discover and share the media they love wherever it lives. With the new international expansion, the social network is adding several channels of premium entertainment content from major local and global entertainment brands and emerging media companies.

To increase viral opportunities for media owners and publishers, Bebo has created a "Share on Bebo? (http://www.bebo.com/c/share/help) button for publisher sites, making it simple to implement and creating a two-way conversation between the publisher and Bebo platform. When a user shares his or her favourite media content, a status update will appear in the user?s "sayings" and in their "Lifestream?, virally spreading the news to his or her entire network and driving traffic back to the media owner or publisher.

Bebo forms the centrepiece of the AOL People Networks business unit. People Networks' collection of community platforms help improve people?s lives by connecting them with everyone and everything they care about. People Networks does this through a web-based experience on Bebo.com, through desktop clients and mobile devices. At the heart of People Networks is the Lifestream, a real-time, platform for aggregating and distributing social feeds across mediums.