Blab Launched: Is Bebo Set To Rise From Its Grave

Posted on April 3, 2014 · Posted in Social Media

It has been teased for almost a year now but social network Bebo has started on the long road to a revival with the release of new a video messaging app called Blab, a free service which lets users record and send videos to friends, even if the recipient doesn’t have the app installed on their phone.

Blap is the first of three apps set to be released by California-based social network Bebo this year, and signals that the once floundering social network is getting a much needed major reboot. The website itself is also going through a refresh and is set to relaunch ‘soon’.

If you are under a certain age you will be surprised to learn that Bebo was once the most popular social network in the UK but following the launch of Facebook and Twitter, its numbers dwindled massively and eventually closed down.

At the height of its popularity in 2008 Bebo was bought by AOL for approx £510 million. Fast forward five years and Bebo was trailing behind its rivals in terms of user numbers, and had developed a reputation for being supposedly rife with cyber-bullying. To save the company from the brink of going under in 2013, its founder Michael Birch bought Bebo back for a cut-price £600,000.

Birch posted a video shortly after saying it was time to ‘wipe the slate clean’ and promised its users the service would come back fighting. Reports about the Blab app first appeared in February 2014, and now the app is available on the Apple App Store and according to the app’s listing:

Blab is the fun app that lets you send quick video messages to your friends and family! It’s free to Blab anyone, anywhere in the world.

The Blab app works by connecting with the contacts in your phone and all you need to do to send a Blab is to select a contact, hold the screen to record a video message, and release to send. Then if the recipient has the app installed, a notification appears on the app’s icon. If they don’t, the recipient receives the video in a text message with a link that opens up in their internet browser.

Although big rivals in the market Vine and Instagram work in a similar way to Blap, their video clips can only be sent to other Vine and Instagram users – although there is nothing stopping them being shared on other social networks. What makes Blap stand out from its rivals is that it doesn’t set a time limit on its videos either unlike Vine (six seconds) and Instagram (15 second) rules.

Blab has also taken its privacy lead from the likes of Snapchat and only lets users watch the last video they were sent. As soon as a new Blab is received from that contact, the destroys the old one and replaces it.

The current Bebo website shows more than 780,000 people have signed up to be part of the new Bebo which will still face stiff competition from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and the Blab app goes up against behemoths including WhatsApp and Snapchat.

The other Bebo apps are expected later this year, but the company has not yet revealed more information about what they will be.

What do you think about this announcement? Will you be signing up to the new improved Bebo?