Bebo has launched its U.S. Latino website, in an effort to expand its reach within the U.S. market as well as further integrate this AOL property with other aspects of the larger AOL experience. In addition to launching the U.S. Latino site, Bebo has also teamed up with Hearst Magazines Digital Media unit, which already powers AOL’s bilingual portal for U.S. Hispanics and AOL Latino.
The new U.S. Latino site is customized for the niche demographic target, with brands and entertainment geared towards the Hispanic market. It’s a move that most major social networks have taken, most notably MySpace, with joint concerts and specialized media campaigns that involve the expanded advertising to go along with it.
The new U.S Latino site also appears to be the next step in Bebo’s continued growth road map, which has already taken the network to several countries across Europe. What started out as a UK site has since been acquired by AOL and is seeking some rather aggressive American expansion, with this U.S. Latino site appearing to be the latest of such initiatives.
Bebo is also relying on its new format and Open Media Platform for catering to the Hispanic market, and more readily integrating content from its media partner Hearst. With the Lifestream and Lifestory features that Bebo has been rolling out, in part due to its acquisition of SocialThing late last year, Bebo is hoping that the new layout and design will better enable users to retrieve, consume and share media with each other. It’s clear that Bebo is hoping that these features become effective channels for branding and ad delivery, especially as social networks are seeking improved and integrated ways to push ads through the site.
Though Bebo is also experimenting with some other potential forms of revenue, including virtual goods and direct market exchanges between users and services, there is still a need to explore better ways in which advertising can be moved through social networks. Especially as Bebo and others continue to open their platforms for application and other uses, the types of advertising and marketing campaigns that can be pushed through a social network like Bebo continues to evolve.