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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Bebo Shakes up Site to Boost Users

Bebo, the social networking site for teenagers, has relaunched with a homepage refresh and new features in the hopes of boosting users after a considerable decline of visiters.

During the rise of Facebook, Bebo was struggling to compete agaisnt it's rivals and was bought by AOL in 2008 for $850m (£417m) but was sold two years later for a mere $10m (£6.2m) after the teen site failed to provide a return on investment.

According to comScore, Bebo's monthly UK visitors dropped to 1.9 million in January 2011 compared to the 5.7 million it was achieving in the same month the previous year.

US-based Criterion Capital Partners has heavily invested in the failing site, giving its revamp with new innovations including "emotion markers" to comment on friends' news feeds and photos. The "cool", "funny", "sorry" and "OMG" markers work in a similar way to the Facebook "like" button.

The site now has customisable profile designs and is making it easier to integrate content from other rival social networks such as Facebook and Twitter into Bebo. Bebo also launched an official Twitter account last week.

Other changes include a drop-down box featuring notifications about recent activity or new messages and a new personal "feed tab" on users' profiles similar to the feed that appears on the Bebo home page.

However, some users have already flocked to the site to complain about the redesign, with some of the objections appearing automatically on the Bebo's homepage.

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