Bebo’s Coming Back. Will People Care?

Nostalgia is a heady drug - for a little while.

Remember Bebo?

I steered well clear, but I have memories of huddling round a fridge-sized PC at pals’ houses, waiting for the dial-up internet to grind its gears so they could look at a profile like this:

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I have a theory that people only started stencilling ‘Live Love Laugh’ on their kitchen walls when the internet took their Bebo walls away.

With no digital outlet for such formulaic creativity, we all took matters into our own hands. Property prices are yet to recover.

But Bebo is coming back!

The original creator is coding it himself and he has plenty of moolah to back up the venture.

While it is easy — and fun — to mock the chaotic, maximalist aesthetic of Bebo, few would argue against the need for a social media shake-up.

There are two areas where Bebo could improve on Facebook and Twitter:

  1. Communication: Bebo wants to inject some spontaneity into online conversations. They are testing a feature that allows people to have a fleeting chat about an old photo, for example.
  2. Colour: There is a stunning lack of individuality on social media today. We all need to fit within the structures created for us by Zuckerberg and his team, and we need to tailor how we look so we get the ‘engagement’.

Now just check out what Bebo used to look like.

Everything from this:

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To this:

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Facebook will be terrified. I know I am.

More than anything else, Bebo could bring a little fun and eccentricity to the social media world. It is unlikely to topple Facebook, but that doesn’t matter.

The most likely outcomes for New Bebo are:

  • Nobody really cares. We’ve all moved on and the nostalgia factor isn’t enough to bring people back. (Bebo’s founder acknowledges that this is quite possible.)
  • Bebo introduces a couple of innovative new features that people like. Facebook steals those features.
  • Bebo introduces a couple of innovative new features that people like. Facebook buys those features.
  • The Bebo aesthetic ushers in a new age of online individuality, in all of its gaudy glory.

My money’s on number 2.

Author of the world-famous I used to be with it, but then they changed what ‘it’ was.

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