X|Media|Lab Melbourne: Francisco Cordero, Bebo

Francisco Cordero of Bebo said that social media and networking serves our need to be distracted for a little while and allows people to share who they are with others. Ten percent of all of the data traffic in Australia comes from YouTube, and they believe that distraction media (viral) will give way to deep audience engagement.

The 16-24 age grooup watch less TV. Texting is like living and breathing for young people, and mobile phones will become even more embedded in their lives leading to exponential growth.

Bebo has a three-pronged approach self-expression, community and content. The current focus for Bebo is on content, with partnerships with iTunes and CurrentTV. They have created a battle of bands style hip hop talent search in partnership with Nike.

He showed off KateModern, a video blog ala LonelyGirl15. (Note from me: Ahhh, now, I know what the graffiti outside our offices in Farringdon is about. Nice try at a guerrilla marketing campaign guys.)

The clip he played felt a little contrived to me, and I think what made LonelyGirl15 compelling was that it had a certain authenticity that I felt was lacking in the KateModern clips. But I think it is clear that Bebo thinks it can differentiate itself from other social networking sites through content.

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