Bebo and AOL’s ‘Social Inbox’ to aggregate social networking feeds


10 Dec 2008

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Social-networking giant Bebo, which was bought last year by AOL for US$850m, is to become the first major social-networking company to give customers a one-stop destination for all their social feeds.

Bebo today made it easier got internet users to manage their online life by providing users with a one-stop ‘Social Inbox’ that combines email, 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, using their existing screen names.

“People want the ability to stay in-touch with their contacts in real-time, wherever their friends may be across the web,” said Joanna Shields, president, AOL People Networks.

“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.

“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.”

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.

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

“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.”

By John Kennedy

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