Hitwise is reporting that online social network Bebo passed MySpace for the first time last week in number of weekly visits in the UK. MySpace retains its lead in the US, but the new UK numbers show that the Fox super-site is beatable in particular countries. MySpace is planning to roll out localized versions in several European countries this summer.
Hitwise analyst Heather Hopkins attributes the Bebo jump to the launch of the site’s new music section. Hopkins reports that according to Hitwise numbers, Bebo is now the 11th most visited site on the internet world wide. Last month that Bebo was at more than 25 million registered users and 3 billion monthly page views. MySpace, for comparison, has 70+ million users and nearly 30 billion monthly page views. The company raised $15 million in a round led by Benchmark Capital this May.
The company is based in San Francisco but has long been known to be a major player in the UK in particular. According to Hitwise, Bebo is also the #1 online social network in New Zealand. Clearly there are huge ammounts of money to be made around succesful social networks, yesterday’s one billion dollar deal between Fox and Google being a prime example.
Update: The Financial Times is reporting this morning that Viacom is considering a move to purchase Bebo. Talks are reported to be in very early stages.