Bebo Reveals New Video Messaging App Named Blab.
The founder behind the social network known as Bebo, has decided to turn the service into a messenger after less than a year of having purchased it for $1 million.
Michael Birch had sold Bebo to AOL for a total $850 million in 2008, but was able to gain it back for a small fraction of that figure after users deserted for more newer platforms like Facebook. By the time he managed to get his hands on it, Bebo had become a “ghost town”, Birch commented.
Although, the British entrepreneur has not attempted to restore the company to its previous glory by changing it into a different services altogether. Sometime on Thursday, Bebo will be launching its messaging application that will allow people to send each other short videos, regardless if they own the application themselves.
The service is known Blab, has already drawn similarities with SnapChat, which will allow people to send self-deleting photos, as well as Whatsapp, which was previously acquired by Facebook for a sum of $19 billion.
During and Interview with the Telegraph, Birch commented on the nature of applications.
“We didn’t really know what we were going to do when we bought Bebo back, but we knew we weren’t just going to relaunch the site and make it prettier. We knew it would be radically different.”
This resulted in an even more frantic departure then previously expected, but Birch went on to say that Blab would hopefully be the first of many apps that will be focused upon specific tasks.“It is such a crowded marketplace but we have an advantage, because it is a Bebo relaunch.”
This isn’t the only feature that will make Blab stand out from its competition. One important difference to Whatsapp and SnapChat, is that Blab users will be able to send message to people irregardless of whether they own the application on their mobile devices. The recipients will also be able to send their own video replay without having to use the application, although it may be necessary to create a account with Blab to initiate the video conversation themselves.
“If you offer goodwill, and people enjoy the experience, then they are going to want to initiate new ones,”Birch said.
“Everything has shifted to being much simpler than it used to be – Apple led the way on that – and we wanted to create something as simple as possible. The idea of recording a video and attaching it to something so you can send it just feels so cumbersome.”
The application will be made available fore free and does not contain any annoying advertisements, but Birch did comment that he would have to work a business model of sorts, once the software has gathered a sizable traction.
“We quite literally haven’t had a conversation about that, but there will be a way to monetize it.”
The company has not had any funding rounds or taken investment from outside sources since Birch managed to regain the company, and intends to remain that way for as long as possible.
“We are realistic that the ambitions for most companies is that they end up selling them, but we would prefer to have complete control over what we are doing for as long as possible,” he said.