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AOL finalises the £425 million purchase of Bebo

The company plans to integrate its instant-messaging platforms with Bebo as well as launch Bebo in at least six new languages.

The third most popular social-networking site of the UK, Bebo, is now officially a part of AOL after the Internet giant acquired this site for £425 million ($850 million).

With the acquisition now official, AOL has announced a whole range of new initiatives that will encourage the cross-platform promotion of multimedia content between the other AOL sites and Bebo.

The web giant also announced that it plans to integrate the company’s instant-messaging platforms such as ICQ and AIM along with other community features into Bebo’s network.

In fact, AOL has created a completely new business division called People Networks to manage these and many other such initiatives that the company has in stock for the future. This division would be led by Joanna Shields, who is the President of Bebo.

The chairman and chief executive of AOL, Randy Falco said in the statement that this acquisition is in sync with the three key areas —advertising network, people networks, and publishing—that AOL wants to grow its business in.

With the integration of the instant-messaging platforms, Bebo users will be able to access their social-networking and instant-messaging profiles at one go and therefore will not need to re-register for any of these services.

Moreover, AOL plans to launch the international versions of Bebo in at least six different languages in the next few months and further extend its reach in the global market.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.