Twitch Acquire Social Network Bebo For $25 Million

The social media platform will be absorbed into the Twitch Rivals arm.
Twitch acquires the social media platform Bebo, to be integrated into their Twitch Rivals arm.
Twitch acquires the social media platform Bebo, to be integrated into their Twitch Rivals arm. Twitch

People may not remember ancient internet history, but once upon a time Facebook had a very credible competitor in a now virtually unknown social media platform called Bebo. As is the case for once credible competitors for Facebook, Bebo was left in the dust as Zuckerberg’s social media empire grew up to be the biggest in the entire world.

It would only seem fitting now that Bebo surfaced once again, thanks to an acquisition by a subsidiary of Amazon, the streaming platform Twitch. The strict focus of the purchase, of course, is to build towards Twitch’s burgeoning move on the esports scene, specifically its Twitch Rivals arm.

The acquisition was confirmed by a Twitch spokesperson, but further details were not revealed. The buy-out did include all 10 employees and the Bebo IP.

Twitch paid $25 million for the acquisition, which beat out two competitors: Discord, which also has an interest in the growing esports scene, and, weirdly enough, Facebook, though the company's plans for it were never specified.

Starting out in 2005, Bebo quickly gained a foothold in English-speaking countries such as UK and Ireland. Its growth was such that it ended up being acquired by AOL back in 2008 for a whopping $850 million, beating out a number of very large tech and media companies with interests in the then-growing social media platforms.

Like most businesses, however, the acquisition turned out to be a huge miss, as Bebo never ended up capitalizing on its earlier success. Bebo filed for bankruptcy back in 2013, and in that same year it was bought back by its original founders, Michael and Xochi Birch, for $1 million with a mission to reinvent it.

After a few failed attempts at niche social media ideas, Bebo then found itself trying out streaming services for esports players, but competition from OBS and Xsplit set that back as well. Bebo then settled into its roots by using social media connections for organizing and running tournaments for various streamers; those tournaments then ended up being streamed on Twitch, which brings us to now.

The entirety of the Bebo team are now relocated in the Twitch Rivals group, which is moving into the burgeoning esports department. As it stands, the esports business is projected to be worth $1.58 billion, and will double to $2.96 billion by 2022.

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