AOL has just completed its $850 million acquisition of social networking website Bebo.

The site, statistically one of the most popular such properties in the UK, will become part of AOL's new People Networks business unit that also incorporates AIM, ICQ and AOL's other community platforms.

AOL's existing community applications and tools, including IM, chat and mail functionality will be worked into Bebo so that users will be able to merge their AIM and Bebo profiles so they can use common screen names without re-registering.

Randy Falco, chairman and chief executive of AOL, said: "With the addition of Bebo and the creation of People Networks, AOL is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the exploding social media space by delivering a more personal experience for consumers and a better way for advertisers to engage them".