Bebo Announces Winners of "Engage to Succeed" Contest

Bebo has taken a cue from Facebook and has created a competition around the applications on its platform. Today the social network announced the winner of its “Engage to Succeed Today” contest, which sought out the five most engaging new applications on Bebo. These winners will receive promotional status on Bebo. The grand prize winner, however, receives a prize from the contest’s co-sponsor, the Sun Startup Essentials program.

That grand prize winner was Bowling Buddies, an app built by Playfish Games. Nick O’Neill claims that he has been addicted to this game for the past week on Facebook. The other top four apps to gain recognition were Solid Sudoku, Robokill Trainer with J2Play, Banangrams and Kick Mania. The response Bebo received for this contest aimed at its developer community was pretty good, with over 2,000 applicants.

When Bebo first announced this contest last November, it happened to be on the same day as Facebook’s announcement of the voting round for its second fbFund competition. While Bebo’s application contest didn’t have a comperable cash prize to Facebook’s $250,000 the concept behind Bebo’s own contest was quite specific and was undoubtedly backed by similar goals.

In seeking out engaging applications for the Bebo platform, Bebo’s contest was very focused on finding apps that could be of great benefit to the developer, Bebo itself, and end users. Seeing as Bebo is also undergoing some major changes to its layout and design, it’s clear that Bebo is looking to make the best of its native and third party applications.

In recent months we’ve seen the integration of AOL’s other acquisition SocialThing into Bebo, and building off this integration we’re also seeing revisions on user profiles for added features such as Bebo Timelines and more. These changes reflect Bebo’s desire to better outline user opportunities to interact with applications on Bebo’s platform and within its network.

Additionally, partnerships with services like Motionbox to power user-generated media and subsequent sharing means that Bebo is also looking to turn its network into a highly accessible and interoperable marketplace. This too could circle back to Bebo’s need to find and nurture highly engaging applications, as its platform still competes with Facebook and MySpace.