Bebo has undergone a lot of changes and upgrades in the past few months, especially after having been acquired by AOL last summer. And Silicon Alley Insider has posted some screen shots of the upcoming Beb 2.0, which will be an entirely new version of the site and user profiles.
The biggest change looks to be the inclusion of “Timelines,” which will be a lot like the Facebook news feeds. Bebo’s Timelines will display user photos, videos and blog posts in the life stream, a feature that was added to Bebo profiles last December. This could very well be further implementation of AOL’s other acquisition, SocialThing.
It’s a reasonable conjecture, given the success of Facebook news feeds and the inclusion of similar features across the majority of competing social networks like Friendster, MySpace, hi5 and even LinkedIn. The Timeline feature could also prove to be an effective distribution and marketing channel for developers working on Bebo’s platform.
Extending the capabilities of Bebo’s life stream, and other upgrades like the Social Inbox, will likely add a good amount of customization in terms of sharing capabilities amongst users on Bebo. I imagine such features will also come with additional privacy and security settings, as additional publishing options for sharing media have a tendency to incur a number of concerns on that end. Bebo has also hinted at additional customization options for their online acitvities across multiple services that have been integrated into Bebo, which indicates Bebo’s hopes to becoming a centralizing platform for third party services as well as individual users.
Many of the other changes we’ve seen on Bebo point towards the social network’s intentions of creating a malleable economy around this, for monetary exchange of products and services to dedicated mobile efforts that spread Bebo’s functionality to multiple devices. Bebo has also told us that there are plans for both direct and indirect monetization of certain applications running on its network, so I imagine that the upcoming Timelines feature will be integral in delivering marketing opportunities for the brands participating on Bebo’s platform as well.