Bebo stands out as a great example of how social sites are differentiating themselves. It's moving from being purely about social networking to being a social-media platform, as The Guardian puts it. For one thing, the site (based in San Francisco but huge in the UK, with 10.7 million "regular users" there), it's specializing in social TV – a kind of hybrid of reality TV and social networking. "A new reality series from Big Brother producer Endemol follows the fortunes of six young people as they travel the world," The Guardian reports. "But you won't find it on BBC 3 or Channel 4. The Gap Year is online social network Bebo's third original content commission in six months; part of a bold strategy raising eyebrows among programme-makers and broadcasters." This is different from other social sites, which generally host user-generated ("amateur") video, TV supplied by traditional programmers, or advertiser-produced video. What Bebo offers is attractive to both young users, who like to be involved in the programming – to customize it, in a way – and to advertisers, who can get closer to "viewers" (or, in effect, "co-producers") than ever before. The Financial Times quotes Bebo international president Joanna Shields as saying that other social sites are more like a communications device, while Bebo is more like a media player. The service is also partnering with traditional media companies, the FT says. "Bebo’s Open Media initiative will allow companies such as the BBC and CBS to make their video content available on Bebo’s site, using their own media players and selling their own advertising around the content if they wish." Here's coverage from a CNET reporter's blog too.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Pretty faces in social media vs. mass media
- Risk implications of kids going mobile: Research
- A positive, insightful new book for schools on bullying
- Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class
- In the face of school violence, what do we default to?
- Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability
- FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform
- What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Anonymous apps and services are not synonymous with ominous
- Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’ feature: What you need to know
- Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable
- How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)
- Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams
- Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?
- Microsoft ends support of Windows XP: Machines highly vulnerable to security risks
- The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years