Aol not confident in the value of Bebo’s user generated content. Any implications to Facebook’s model?


Share on LinkedIn

So Venture Beat reports that AOL (sorry… Aol) is considering selling Bebo as part of their reorganization. Now, Aol is repositioning itself by moving away from its current subscription-based service model to an ad-supported digital media business – so aggregate or develop content and sell advertising.

Now, Bebo is a social networking platform. A platform that allows users to organize themselves around relationships and easily create and share content with one another. So, essentially Aol – while transforming itself into a content play that makes money off of advertising doesn’t believe that the user generated content driven by a social networking platform is valuable enough to keep as part of that advertising business.

You know who else is a giant generator of user generated content?


Only Facebook claims that they will be able to drive better margins while producing better results for advertisers by delivering ads based on the context of the user generated content. A lot of smart people have invested a lot of money in Facebook betting that they’re right about that assumption.

I have my doubts as to whether social netowrkers will ever be in the frame of mind to consume advertising messages – no matter how relevant or compelling they are during their social netowrking sessions. Those ads seem very easy to ignore when I’m concentrating on writing on walls, updating my own status and seeing what my friends have been up to. On the other hand, plenty of brands have managed to develop campaigns that utilize Facebook’s social and community functionality to create highly engaging campaigns that yield real business results.

If enough brands develop these types of campaigns and are able to successfully support them with the paid advertising available on the site, maybe that could become a profitable model. We’ll see.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michael Nurse
Michael Nurse is a business strategist focused on digital business model innovation and managing customer relationships in the digital space. He leads the customer strategy and planning function for the Atlanta office LBi - a digital marketing agency. Views expressed in his blog posts do not necessarily reflect the views of LBi.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here