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Bebo founders buy website back for just $1 mn

The British couple who sold social networking site Bebo for $850 million (655 million euros) five years ago have bought back the company for just $1 million and say they will relaunch it.

Europe's children still unsafe in online world: EU

European Union nations are not doing enough to protect children in the digital world and need to upgrade hotline systems, social networking awareness and age-rating, the EU executive said Tuesday.

Facebook exposes children to online threats says EU

Social networking sites such as Facebook are not doing enough to protect children from potential dangers such as grooming by paedophiles or online bullying, European authorities said on Tuesday.

Bebo founder returns to social network as adviser

(AP) -- Bebo, the social network that was dumped by AOL two years after the Internet company purchased it, is trying to regain some startup magic by bringing back its founder.

AOL unloads social networking site Bebo

(AP) -- AOL Inc. is paring its ambitions in online social networking, selling a website called Bebo that it bought a little more than two years ago for $850 million when AOL was still part of Time Warner Inc.

AOL looking to sell or shut down social site Bebo

(AP) -- The struggling Internet company AOL Inc. plans to sell or shut down the online community Bebo nearly two years after buying it for $850 million in an expansion of its social-networking ambitions.

Bebo social network expands into Europe

Social networking website Bebo on Monday announced the launch of five new European-language versions, its first major expansion outside the English-speaking world.

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Bebo (pronounced bee-bow) is a social networking website launched in July 2005. It is currently owned and operated by Criterion Capital Partners after taking over from AOL in June 2010.

The website's name is an acronym for Blog Early, Blog Often. Users receive a personal profile page where they can post blogs, photographs, music, videos and questionnaires to which other users may answer. Additionally, users may add others as friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Bebo is very similar to other social networking sites, mainly Facebook.

Michael Birch has said on the BBC Radio 4 programme "The Bottom Line" broadcast on 30th June 2011 that the acronym 'Blog Early, Blog Often' was a made up story to answer the question of what the name meant and is not actually true.

Bebo was founded by Michael Birch and his wife Xochi Birch in January 2005 at their home in San Francisco. It was acquired by AOL on March 13, 2008 for $850 million, with the Birch's combined 70% stake yielding a profit of $595 million from the deal. However the founders and executives of Bebo had stated that their end goal had been to sell out to a larger company, as they were well aware of the site's platform instabilities. Many suggested that AOL overpaid for Bebo, especially as advertising suffered a downturn due to the financial crisis. Furthermore AOL was unwilling to invest and continue developing Bebo so that it could remain competitive with Facebook.

In April 2010, AOL announced it was planning to sell or shut down Bebo, with the sale being completed on June 17, 2010 to Criterion Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum which was reportedly under $10 million.

The BBC said that the AOL purchase of Bebo was "one of the worst deals ever made in the dotcom era", and it cost then-CEO of AOL Randy Falco his job.

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