BEBO- comparing social networking sites

While I was working on my website I decided to visit other social networking websites and compare how effective they are in portraying identity. I wanted to analyse how a profile template limits the extent to which each individual presents themselves.

Website 1: Bebo 

profile features:

  • profile picture
  • about me
  • timeline
  • friends
  • widgets
  • polls
  • whiteboard
  • groups
  • bands
  • posts
  • skins
What I think distinguishes this site from Facebook is its skins feature. Like blogs, Bebo gives users the opportunity to customise their profile settings and create or use a unique skin or background for their profile page.  Also, the page layouts of each profile can be customised – encouraging unique layouts on profile pages.
Also, bebo’s ‘widgets’ feature encourages individual expression as it provides an array of functions that each individual can customise such as: creating their personal ‘pet’, or; customising an LED scroller to present a message or a name, or; creating photo montages.
The whiteboard function also encourages users to visit their friends’ pages and communicate through drawings and pictures – an effective communication method.
What I found interesting in particular about Bebo, is its ‘love’ function. It gives users the opportunity to give a digital heart to one Bebo friend a day. Along with the profile information, Bebo presents the number of hearts each individual has received.
Dear Bebo creator: What are we trying to say when we portray the number of ‘digital hearts’ on our profile pages? Does it really show who we are, how we are feeling or share our experiences with others?

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