This morning, Sarah Perez posted an article about the “new Bebo” rumored to be released later this month. Ever since AOL’s acquisition of Bebo, and more recently, Socialthing!, they have steadily been making improvements to the site. One of the major draws to the site is the ability to aggregate data from other services. Sarah writes:
This new look for Bebo’s lifestream will build on the “Social Inbox” and lifestreaming features launched on the site back in December. That recent addition allowed Bebo users to aggregate their Twitter updates, Flickr photos, and AIM friends along with their webmail from either Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL. (The press release at the time also referred to Delicious as being a launch partner, but after a long hiatus from Bebo, I logged in once again and Delicious is nowhere to be found.)
One of the new features Bebo will be adding in its upcoming, grown-up, reinvention will be “Timeline.” Basically, this will take all your photos and all your lifestreaming data and insert it into a visual representation by year/month. This is definitely a feature we have not seen utilized on the other big social networks. Combine this with the ability to view email right on the site and it is clear that Bebo is getting closer to being a complete social network. This could ultimately be the one stop shop for all things social in your life.
It’s exciting to see Bebo take this step forward. However, when I signed up for the service a few months ago (after reading an article about their addition of some Socialthing! features), Bebo decided to send invitations to join to everyone in my gmail address book without my permission. When I thought I was just checking to see who from my contact list was already on Bebo, I was actually giving them the right to spam my contacts. This immediately turned me off to the site. But, I will give it another chance once the new site is up and running. Of course, I won’t be looking for my friends and family until I decide I might actually use the site.