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Bebo goes bankrupt

It’s always a wonder what happens to those sites that fall from grace. The once great meeting points of the internet become ghost towns and we all just forget about them usually. Sometimes with the likes of Digg or Myspace, a Justin Timberlake or investment firm will come along and revamp it for the modern age, but that doesn’t always happen; and it certainly hasn’t in the case of Bebo, since it’s now filed for bankruptcy.

Bebo was a mover and shaker in the social networking game just five years ago, where in it gained a big following in the UK, garnering around 40 million worldwide members at one point. This led to the timely sale, by the original owners, to AOL in late 2008 for an impressive $850 million (£550 million), though it was sold on again just two years later to its current owner Criterion, for just $10 million.

Part of the fallout with the site has been over the past year, where minority shareholders sued Criterion for mismanagement, demanding $5 million in compensation. Ultimately though, it’s the rise of sites like Facebook and Twitter that saw Bebo tumble into obscurity.

Bebo’s CEO, Adam Levine, also stands accused of drawing a full time salary of $14,000 a month, despite putting most of his time into other Criterion projects

The site is still operational at the moment, though most of the “live” chat messages being displayed on the home page (is that really a feature anyone would want?) are over 24 hours old. Chances are if no one is paying the bills, it won’t be around for long. If you have anything unique on your profile, now would be a good time to retrieve it.

KitGuru Says: Bebo was before my social networking career really began. I never did MySpace or Friendster or any of the early stuff, I just sort of tagged along with Facebook when it exploded. Any of you guys have fond memories of Bebo?

[Thanks TechCrunch]

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