San Francisco based social network Bebo, which recently raised $15 millionfrom Benchmark Capital, rejected a Â£300 million ($552 million)acquisition offer from British Telecom Group â€œa few weeks agoâ€,according to an insider on the transaction. Beboâ€™s asking price? North of $1 billion.
Sounds like another big media company trying to pay big money for something they don’t understand? Maybe? But then you read something like this:
Hitwise research shows that users of social networking site Bebo generate more than half of all UK visits to VoIP provider Skype.Visits to Skype from Bebo make up 56% of the VoIP site’s total visits.
Earlier this month, Skype and Bebo announced a partnership to take VOIP social. The partnership allows users to host “Skypecasts” with up to 100 participants on the same call and we have already seen a massive impact on Skype’s traffic. Last week, 58% of visits to Skype came from Bebo
Be interesting to see how much real uptake there is of Skype through this.
Yesterday I spoke at the Mobile Marketing 2005 conference. I actually quite enjoyed it which surprised me.
It was a tricky old thing. From speaking to lots of people later it’s obvious that there’s a lot of different levels of knowledge and experience within the sector. And there’s still a lot to play for. Which is inspiring.
What’s less inspiring is quite how ‘old media’ a lot of the thinking in the industry seems to be. Especially from the network operator side. It’s almost as if the web and open source hasn’t even registered. The networks (and a load of ‘feeder’ companies around them) seem to want to control and own everything. Their value chain seems to rely on them owning and delivering content. Much like a properly old-school ISP.
Is it really economically impossible for a network to detach itself from all their ‘value added services’? I hate using that term (especially when the services in question add no discernible value in my world). If I was offered a network that just charged a data rate but let me go where I wanted, using whatever device I wanted, I’d be in like a shot. And hoovering up mobile bandwidth. They may not get me paying 50p to watch a movie trailer from them (I would absolutly never do such a thing by the way). But they would get the data charges.
Or am I just being naive?
Until they sort themselves out I’m hoping for a massive wi-fi cloud and using VOIP on mobile wi-fi devices. Fuck the mobile networks. (Note to mobile networks (especially any of our clients): I didn’t really mean that completely).
Nik, one of my co-partners at Poke has, in my opinion, finally nailed a proper useful-use for his Hulger Phones. Although an interesting design statement and a humerous novelty when attached to a mobile, I don’t think anyone would really use them in the longer term. But, they sure beat a crappy headset for VOIP. So a partnership with Skype seems like a winner to me!