AOL Relaunching Bebo; Bringing Frenemies Under Its Roof

imageSo what do Bebo users get for the $850 million AOL (NYSE: TWX) shelled out for the social site? Easier *Yahoo* Mail access, for one. Bebo is today launching Social Inbox, a social feed and email aggregator that brings access to services including Twitter, Flickr,, AIM, YouTube, Gmail, Yahoo! (NSDQ: YHOO) Mail and AOL Mail, all from within the Bebo site.

It’s basically the injection in to Bebo of SocialThing, the little FriendFeed-type aggregator AOL bought in August and which has come under former Bebo president Joanna Shields’ newly widened remit as AOL People Networks president; and it certainly helps unify communication options at a time when our social memberships are fragmenting. But the main beneficiaries are users of Bebo, rather than AOL, and its true to say that, technologically speaking, this could have been accomplished pretty easily without Bebo being absorbed by AOL.

Other additions today… Nine months after the acquisition, Bebo is also letting users log in with just their AOL/AIM screen names. And it’s starting to make video recommendations from its Open Media platform, which has over 500 broadcast partners; users will get recommendations based on their profile preferences, friends’ viewing habits and what unknown but similar people are liking.