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Bebo Rolls Out Its New 'Social Inbox'

Bebo Rolls Out Its New 'Social Inbox'

Bebo today made it easier for Internet users to manage their online life by providing users with a one-stop "Social Inbox" that combines e-mail, social networking and media recommendations in one easy-to-use interface.

Designed to allow consumers to organise their lives online, Bebo's Social Inbox makes it simple for users to keep in touch with the information and people who are important to them.

The Social Inbox aggregates feeds and updates from Twitter, Flickr, Del.icio.us, YouTube, AIM and others, so users can see at-a-glance what's going on in their online world. The new experience also offers one-click access to Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, as well as user-selected media favourites, such as videos, music and photos. In addition, more than 100 million* users of AOL and AIM can now log directly into the Bebo service, http://www.bebo.com, using their existing screen names.

The new aggregation and update features delivered by Bebo go a long way toward solving the main problem facing consumers online, namely, a cluttered social networking experience with friends' activity online scattered across the Web, living on multiple sites that require too much time and effort to access.

By letting users pool key updates and information from multiple sites in one place, Bebo builds on the foundations of social networking to become the first major network to give consumers a one-stop destination from which to experience life online.

"People want the ability to stay in-touch with their contacts in real-time wherever their friends may be across the Web. The current fragmented social networking environment makes keeping up-to-date with others increasingly difficult. Bebo's new Social Inbox is our first step in solving this problem," said Joanna Shields, President, AOL People Networks.

"By opening up our network to the most popular sites and allowing our users to pull in the best of the Internet, we are creating an environment where everyone can easily and effectively manage their online lives, no matter where the individual pieces reside."

"By leveraging key resources and technologies from AOL and Bebo as well as from open APIs from leading social properties, we've been able to create a more relevant and open social experience," said David Liu, Senior Vice President, AOL People Networks. "The Social Inbox aggregates the most relevant communications, community and content under one roof in an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Our users can keep in touch with friends and family across the Web and around the world from one single destination while at the same time continuing to explore the vast Bebo community."

Today's enhancements to Bebo.com, the first in a series of scheduled releases for early 2009, include:

* Social feed aggregation: Based on technology from newly acquired SocialThing, Bebo's feed aggregation area enables quick and easy access to photo uploads, status updates and multiple online activities from key social networking destinations such as Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, AIM and Del.icio.us on top of Bebo's existing social feeds. Bebo's Social Inbox allows social feeds to be organised in chronological order and grouped by person. A localised RSS feed reader also delivers the latest news and updates from around the globe including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands.

* E-mail aggregation: The Social Inbox gives consumers one-click access to the most popular e-mail services, including AOL and AIM Mail, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail. Users will be able to preview their e-mail from multiple accounts without having to go from site to site.

* Media Favorites: A new recommendations engine built on the foundations of Bebo's Open Media Platform delivers the most relevant online entertainment (including video, music, groups and games) into one place. Media Favorites are based on users' stated preferences and aggregated data such as: what their friends are watching and listening to and what people like them like, subject to appropriate privacy settings.

This feed pulls in current Bebo content and group subscriptions, making it easy to get a quick snapshot of all personalised content. Bebo already boasts one of the most extensive online media offerings available, with programming from over 500 media** companies including MTV, ESPN, CBS and the BBC.

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