The combination of social networking and mobility continues to drive web traffic, with one of the newest entrants, Bebo, claiming its mobile offering is causing a boom in page views with a 44 per cent increase in January.
O2 UK, which signed to join the Bebo Open Mobile initiative last month, has seen apparently an increase in Bebo pages viewed on its network of more than 60 per cent. This upsurge, according to Bebo's head of mobile, Sean Kane, is evidence the website is offering a compelling mobile service. "Mobile social networking is a fast-moving market and empowering our partners to innovate in a flexible and mutually beneficial way helps us all win," said Kane.
The company describes its Open Mobile initiative as being aimed at operators, handset vendors and mobile software developers and consists of a suite of software tools to support the delivery of the Bebo ‘experience' to mobile users.
This move into the mobile arena might provide Bebo's parent, AOL, with some justification for acquiring Bebo for US$850 million in 2008. AOL has bundled Bebo into its People Network group which includes AIM, ICQ, SocialThing, Yedda and Goowy Media. The president of this group has commented, perhaps wisely, that there are no more social networking acquisitions in the offing.
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