Bebo was sold and bought back by its owners and will now be re-branded as Blab, a video sharing social platform.
Bebo's British creator Michael Birch sold the social networking site to AOL for $850 million in 2008 and then bought it back for just $1 million under a year ago. He plans to breath new life into the service by renaming it as Blab and focusing it on video messaging.
Blab's unique offering is its ability to share short video messages with anyone, even those without the Blab app. Users that receive a video can even reply without actually owning the Blab app. Though if they want to have full-on video conversations they'll need to sign-up to blab.
The app will be free to use, won't charge for use and won't feature advertising. "If you offer goodwill," says Birch, "and people enjoy the experience, then they are going to want to initiate new ones." Birch says he will work out a business model once he has a sizeable following.
Blab has been compared to Snapchat and WhatsApp. But whether Blab will go the way of WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook for $19 billion, or the way of Snapchat, who turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook isn't clear. On the matter Birch non-commitally says: "We are realistic that the ambitions for most companies is that they end up selling them, but we would prefer to have complete control over what we are doing [for as long as possible]."
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