The use of social media in the United Kingdom is increasingly becoming the main reason why the Internet culture is rapidly growing among young adults. Bebo, the second largest social networking site in the U.K. shows the influence and impact social networks have on British teenagers.
Bebo, a significant competitor of Facebook allows teenagers to stay in touch with college friends, connect with friends, as well as share photos and discover new interest. The U.K. teen favorite has 22 million unique visitors and of the five top social networking destinations in the UK, Bebo has the highest number of page views, at 11 billion pages views monthly according to Comscore data. AOL who acquired Bebo for $850 million in cash last year said Bebo users spend an average of 40 minutes a day on the site.
As the influence in social networks in the U.K. continues to grow, it is important for brands and marketers to use sites such as Bebo to market to younger consumers. While Bebo’s success stems from the teenage ripple effect of “everyone else is using it,” Bebo may have trouble expanding beyond the audiences of the U.K. as other sites, such as Facebook is successfully doing. To sustain a competitive edge against Facebook, Bebo is available to mobile phone users thanks to a deal with Intercasting Corporation last year.
Some 40 million Bebo.com site users will now have availability to produce and share content, view photos, send and receive messages, post comments and search profiles on their mobile devices through the Anthem platform. Bebo also has a deal with T-mobile in the U.K. where it has an existing partnership with operator Orange.
With AOL’s acquisition of Bebo, brands should recognize the social networking site as an instrumental way to target young adults in the U.K. The partnership helps to secure brands with the growing power and potential Bebo has to leverage them quickly to target audiences. This tactic will help brands engage with communities or audiences for faster more reliable results of their message or product. With AOL’s help, Bebo has the impressive capabilities to surpass Facebook and accelerate growth in the U.K. and to other countries.