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Amazon’s Twitch has acquired venerable social network Bebo


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Here’s a generational test: do you remember Bebo? Did you have a profile on it? The social network’s heyday, in western Europe at least, was in 2006-2008, before an $850m acquisition by AOL that coincided neatly with Facebook’s emergence to leave Bebo trailing in its wake. Yet Bebo has continued to exist, through further acquisitions, bankruptcy protections and the return of its founders in 2014, with its most recent incarnation pivoting to streaming services for the esports market. Now it’s been bought again, by Amazon’s Twitch.

TechCrunch suggests that Twitch paid up to $25m for Bebo, fending off interest from Discord and Facebook. The report claims that Bebo’s technology will be used for the Twitch Rivals series of esports events.

“The Bebo tech and its team are now both being put to use on Twitch Rivals, to help continue expanding it with more features and more users. To be clear, though, it seems there is no intention — from what I understand — to parlay Bebo’s past efforts in social networking into a wider social networking play at Twitch: the focus is on esports,” wrote TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden. So the secondary story here, judging from that bidding war, is that Facebook is also keen to do more with esports…

Stuart Dredge

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