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AOL's Bebo Unclutters Your Online Social Life

AOL's Bebo interface, Social Inbox, lets users aggregate e-mails from social networking sites into one central location.

interface networking

Social Inbox lets users pool and organize e-mail, social networking and media recommendations from multiple sites in a single area.

Aggregated feeds and updates include content from Twitter, Flickr,, YouTube and AIM. In addition, Social Inbox provides one-click access to Gmail, Yahoo Mail and AOL Mail, as well as user-selected media features such as videos, music and photos.

The social feed aggregation is based on technology from AOL's SocialThing, which the company acquired in August. A localized RSS feed reader also delivers the latest news and updates from countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands.

The Media Favorites feature comes from a new recommendations engine built on the foundations of Bebo's Open Media Platform. It provides the most relevant online entertainment, such as video, music, groups and games, into one place. Media Favorites are based on users' preferences and aggregated data such as what their friends are watching and listening, subject to privacy settings.

Bebo has been on the scene for a few years. Last year it opened its platform to external application developers, becoming the first social network to embrace both Facebook and OpenSocial APIs. To date, more than 13,000 applications have joined the network.

AOL acquired Bebo in March 2008 for $850 million. While the site has been a hit in the U.K., it has yet to catch on in the U.S.

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