Twitch acquires Bebo to gain firmer grip on eSports streaming

Amazon-based social video streaming company, Twitch has acquired Bebo’s latest incarnation, an eSports streaming software.

Bebo was launched in 2005 by Michael and Xochi Birch and its success predates that of market leader Facebook.

The news was first established when TeTechCrunch broke that Twitch had acquired the resurgent messaging app. This will put the price of the transaction at $25m.

Resurrected in 2018, as an eSports streaming service, from where they have been fighting off competition from the likes of OBS and Xsplit. Now, Bebo has taken down its site and have deleted all of their tweets. Twitch will begin with a completely blank canvas with the memorable brand, which changes hands once again.

AOL purchased Bebo for $850m at the peak of its popularity in 2008, for it to be dubbed as “one of the worst deals ever made in the dotcom era”. As it flopped, it was sold on to Criterion Capital for $25m and and then eventually ended up with founder, Michael Burch in 2013 for just $1m. On his passion project, Burch asked: “Can we actually reinvent it? Who knows, but it will be fun trying…”

After a brief relaunch as a mad-cap messaging app called Blab in 2014 , it lasted two years. In 2018 it was to make another pivot, this time into eSports. This is the move that caught Twitch’s attention.

Social media strategist at Golin, Adam Libonatti-Roche said: “This shows that Discord have aspirations of being more than just a channel for social-community chat but one to host and have streaming options in place.

“It was a chance for Discord to put a flag in the sand as a ‘come to us for purely social esports’. If true, it’s a good move for Twitch as eSports is being thought about now on a purely ‘how can we expand the demographic’, just like the Nintendo Wii brought in a whole new slew out gamers way back when.”

Will Cooke, executive director of strategy at Golin, added: “The major players are saying they are too big to fail with calls for them to be broken up as per recent comments by Facebook and YouTube at CodeConference. This acquisition shows that it is possible to pivot and drastically change your offering and be successful from it.”

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