Google has MySpace. Microsoft has Facebook. Now, at least in some markets, Yahoo has Bebo.
Yahoo today won a multi year deal to manage the bulk of display and video advertising on social networking site Bebo within certain geographies.
Yahoo already powered the site search functionality on Bebo but this new deal with give them management responsibilities for ad inventory for Bebo’s UK and Irish users. The Yahoo Answers property will also get further integration into the social network and a new browser toolbar is in development.
Bebo was launched in 2005. Since, they’ve developed a strong international footprint and are drawing more than 11million users in the UK and Ireland. Globally they are bringing in more than 18m users and have grown more than 63% since the start of the year. (Though in the U.S., their usage pales compared to MySpace and Facebook). On the Bebo site, the average user is between 13 and 24 and spends about 40 minutes a day on the site.
Back in May, rumors circulated that Yahoo was interested in buying the site for around $1b. While that didn’t happen, or at least hasn’t yet, the increasing partnership could be the first of a multi step process. If the advertising relationship proves successful after its 4th quarter roll out, a global deal could be possible; even acquisition rumors could start again.
In the near term, the deal should strengthen Yahoo’s advertising inventory and be a revenue contributor. Exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed.