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May 22, 2006


Joe Drumgoole

BEBO is utterly dominant in Ireland. There quite simply is no other network. Check out google trends, Its stats for bebo vs myspace in the US and bebo vs MySpace in Ireland are almost exactly reversed. BEBO also just got a full page cover spread on the Irish Times (the chattering classes paper of record in Ireland) so we can expect a big spike in traffic over the next week.

Niall Larkin

Intriguing question Jeff. I've run a little study to look into this. And it would seem that people are essentially eager 'to hang out in a few of them'.I set up a student social networking site in DCU, Dublin, Ireland around about the time you were there with Judy Gibbons and Marc Canter.

And as part of the study I left the 'invite function' disabled.

I randomly approached ~200 students on campus and here is what I found:

1. 95% of the ~200 students I talked to from the random selection were already using bebo very enthusiastically. In addition, most of those that had been exposed to social networking before being exposed to bebo were also members of other social networking sites, most especially myspace.com.

2. 95% of the ~200 students were also very keen to sign up to a new and similar social networking site when presented with the opportunity.

And perhaps most interestingly,

3. After signing up to the alternative I presented (called ducky.ie ) they continue to return to the site quite regularly to check in. I find this quite odd because it would seem to go against common sense in that there are only ~200 students from their campus even registered as users for ducky.ie . Also, (because of the random selection and the disabled invite section) very few of these would be friends or classmates of theirs. Meanwhile, there are approximately 4,000 students from the campus using bebo. Therefore, you would expect that bebo would be serving their every need in terms of social networking.

Clearly, there is some additional need that is only being served by being signed onto more than one SN service.

One possible explanation could be that these sites will be visited in much the same way as we might visit bars. Popping into one to check it out and see who's about before hopping along to the next one.

You'll have your personal favourites, you'll have the ones you go to because your friends go there and you'll have the one's you'll go to because your in the mood for something different.


after MySpace, Facebook, Xanga, and the SixApart Empire, seems like the rising players are (surprisingly):
- Friendster
- Orkut
- Hi5

according to alexaholic at least, they seem to be doing pretty well on both reach & access compared to Bebo:

would probably be better to compare on Hitwise or ComScore for more reliable data, however i think page views should be looked at as well as user count.

- dave mcclure


"With 2.5 billion page views a month, and over a million unique visitors, Bebo seems to be doing quite well." am I being stupid or does this mean 1 million people view 2,500 Bebo pages each month...apologies if I have misunderstood...

Niall Larkin

>>1 million people view 2,500 bebo pages per month?
Breathtaking, but not unreasonable.

Data from facebook.com shows that on average their users were viewing 48 pages per day. So that would be nearly ~1,500 pages per month per user.

Why would bebo's users be viewing even more pages?
By design. Bebo's design encourage near-continous near-aimless browsing...and lots of page views. One commentator has hit the nail on the head by comparing it with "variable ratio conditioning schedule"


"If Gareth’s comparison of Bebo search with “variable ratio conditioning schedule” is a deliberate ploy on behalf of the Bebo creators to inhibit searches and make you spend more time browsing for those elusive friends, it’s a darn effective one. Searches only seem to work on names, and even then there is very little relevant information about the person in the search summary apart from clicking on their links and finding out more. Compare this to sites like Orkut or MySpace and the search facility on Bebo looks positively stone age. How can I find all my ex-classmates from a particular set of years in NUI Galway without trawling through 50+ pages of profile summaries on Bebo? Not very easily, but it makes me spend more time on the site, reading more targetted advertising, and yes, there is a certain sense of achievement when you do eventually beat the system/slot machine and find that person/win that jackpot!"

I was talking to several Irish students who had spent 8 hours the previous day on bebo. The most common response to the question "Are you on bebo?" was a big groan followed by a 'yes, but i hate it' and a sparkle in the eye 'its SOOO addictive'. 'Bebo' and 'addictive' are words you hear together all the time.

The other thing I've noticed is that many of the users don't think there is any advertising on the site. When in fact the truth is that they are just so blind to the advertising that they don't notice it is there.


I head up bus dev & sales at Bebo, and I usually don't post comments on behalf of the company, but since Jeff said such nice things about Michael and Xochi, here goes:
Much of the confusion in the #s above (and frankly in many blog postings) about Bebo's and other SN site #s come from the mashing of various data sources. So, for example, while Bebo reported 2.5 Billion monthly page views (and we're actually just shy of 3 Billion now), we never reported the 1 million unique user #. In fact, I'm not sure where that came from, but I suspect it's a Media Metrix/Comscore unique user # for US members only. Our internal data shows that Bebo overall has significantly higher unique user #s, and you can do the research to see what 3rd parties report our monthly unique user # to be. Bebo's key markets are the UK, IE, US, CA, AU & NZ which comprises almost all of our traffic. So, the #s will vary if you're looking only at the US market (which many US publications do) or at Bebo's total market.
Also, when you use Alexa to look at traffic, you're looking at the total traffic from all countries. So, in Bebo's case, that'll be our total traffic from our 6 core markets. In Orkut's case, that'll be their total traffic, which is almost entirely from Brazil, and so on. The key thing to remember there is that not all traffic is created equally (ie--I'd rather own the UK market than the Brazilian market if my primary revenue source is advertising).
I hope that clears up some things....or perhaps I just confused it some more ;-)

PS--Bebo does dominate in Ireland (thanks to Joe for pointing that out), and in fact I'm heading there from London tomorrow to keynote the Ireland's Internet Association's Annual Congress. Bebo is the second largest site in Ireland behind only Google (ranked by page views).


Internet giants descend on Dublin to discuss state of net. Siliconrepublic.com - Dublin,Ireland
11.04.2006 - Senior executives from global internet giants Google, eBay, Yahoo and Bebo.com are coming together in Dublin to discuss the impact and future of ...

william wingo

I am glad to see all the attention about social networking.I found the BEBO site very intutive and "additive"
also, which makes you click through to find interesting connections.
Here on the east coast I discovered another social networking site which I bloged on yesterday.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Social Networking - Just Got Better!
Yesterday I discovered what I had been searching for in article in the Baltimore Business Journal!
I had attended the Syndicate conference in NY looking for it. http://www.syndicateconference.com I had thought that the Google calendar or the Yahoo calendar, both of which I use would do it. Both Yahoo & Google came close, but close only counts in horseshoes. The genius for a great social networking site is Clarence Wooten of CollectiveX. com.
It does everything any group needs to commuicate
and stay abreast of events. The great thing I like is that
it is ORGANIC! IT GROWS! Your list of contacts or other groups can exchange information, discuss projects and so much more! I just created site for my church and already I've told 4 people about using it for their ministries or groups! I must admit that the founder and president Clarence Wooten , is the nephew of my best childhood friend, whose family I've known for many, many years.


Someone please tell me what does BEBO actually mean?!!! some say "Because Everything's Better Online" and some say its to do with the kids and the logo is a teddys head to do with michael and xochis kids? god knows! FIND OUT AND EMAIL IT TO ME!!

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