Bebo rolls out bChat – Chatroulette sans-private parts

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Following on from the recent addition of IM powered by Meebo’s web-based client, Bebo has rolled out a video chat feature called bChat. Think Chatroulette “sans-private parts” was the line given to me (phew!). It’s provided by Vchatter, the social video chat service that is already available on Facebook and as a standalone offering, and is part of a wider strategy by Bebo to become relevant again by making its platform more realtime and interactive. And about time too.

A quick re-cap: After Bebo sold to AOL for $850 million in 2008, the platform was left to languish, with AOL eventually shutting it down for tax purposes and selling it for about $10m to Criterion Capital Partners. However, as we recently reported, the new team of 20 or so employees (and growing) has already made the site profitable and it’s now coming back in user numbers. Today’s news is another sign that the social network has a new spring in its step.

While bChat has some of the fun randomness of Chatroulette-style video chat, as you’d expect it has built in safety measures and taps into Bebo’s existing profile data to ensure that connections are better targeted. This is based on social preferences, geography, age and interests. VChatter was chosen to power the feature because of its focus on “safe social video chat”, including mechanisms to monitor user activity. We’ll see how well that works out.

In terms of support for video chat, this is just the beginning for Bebo. It says that it plans to extend the service to enable one to one and private video conferencing in 2011, and will soon announce “a new search, discovery and sharing interface for volumes of new video sources” in the coming weeks.

Who woke the dinosaur?

  • jack

    they are in the process of doing the same thing at http://www.appleroulette.com where only Mac operating systems will be allowed access. If you watch the vid, it’s done on the premise that Mac users are mature enough not to flash their genitals

  • Prick

    Vchat is an odd name for a b-rated chat service. Vagina Chat?

  • http://jetlib.com/news/2010/12/07/bebo-rolls-out-bchat-%e2%80%93-chatroulette-sans-private-parts/ Bebo Rolls Out bChat – Chatroulette Sans-Private Parts | JetLib News

    […] Read the rest of this entry » […]

  • tatsuke2

    “We’ll see how well that works out.”

    It won’t work:

    1) Nothing prevents me from pulling my junk out.

    2) I assume that you can “fake” bebo profile data, making the people you want to target easier to target.

  • Jon

    This link explains why Bebo is hated.
    http://bit.ly/hIHJGL

  • http://www.blog.pitbulltrainingtips.info/bebo-launches-bchat-a-safe-alternative-to-chatroulette/ Bebo launches bChat, a ‘safe’ alternative to Chatroulette — Pit Bulls and My Life :D

    […] social network that against all odds is still here and apparently profitable once again, has launched what it calls ‘Chatroulette sans-private parts.’ Having already implemented IM powered by the similarly named Meebo, bChat, which is powered by […]

  • Dany

    Seems like a copy of http://www.FaceFlow.com

    FaceFlow.com is already a successful application anyways for video chatting and conferencing, and it also includes a safe moderated random chat like Chatroulette.

  • Dany

    FaceFlow :
    http://www.crunchbase.com/company/faceflow
    Who’s the best so far? This should be the topic of a next article.

  • http://technewstweets.com/2010/12/bebo-launches-bchat-a-safe-alternative-to-chatroulette/ Bebo launches bChat, a ‘safe’ alternative to Chatroulette - Tech News- Tweets

    […] social network that against all odds is still here and apparently profitable once again, has launched what it calls “Chatroulette sans-private parts.” Having already implemented IM powered by the similarly named Meebo, bChat, which is powered by […]

  • http://www.blog.pitbulltrainingtips.info/bebo-launches-bchat-a-safe-alternative-to-chatroulette-2/ Bebo launches bChat, a ‘safe’ alternative to Chatroulette — Pit Bulls and My Life :D

    […] social network that against all odds is still here and apparently profitable once again, has launched what it calls “Chatroulette sans-private parts.” Having already implemented IM powered by the similarly named Meebo, bChat, which is powered by […]

  • http://ruthiemcmillian.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/bebo-launches-bchat-a-safe-alternative-to-chatroulette/ Bebo launches bChat, a ‘safe’ alternative to Chatroulette | ruthiemcmillian

    […] social network that against all odds is still here and apparently profitable once again, has launched what it calls “Chatroulette sans-private parts.” Having already implemented IM powered by the similarly named Meebo, bChat, which is powered by […]

  • http://www.dmblog.omaka.info/bebo-launches-bchat-a-safe-alternative-to-chatroulette/ Bebo launches bChat, a ‘safe’ alternative to Chatroulette – Dm's BLOG

    […] social network that against all odds is still here and apparently profitable once again, has launched what it calls “Chatroulette sans-private parts.” Having already implemented IM powered by the similarly named Meebo, bChat, which is powered by […]

  • http://www.swedishmatchmakers.com/ Laura Lovely

    Great idea and team, good job

  • http://www.camupchat.com TiffanySTP

    My opinion is http://www.camupchat.com is better for free webcam chat.

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/01/18/natter-launches-as-another-attempt-to-create-a-safe-chatroulette/ Natter launches as another attempt to create a “safe” Chatroulette

    […] other via webcam, only this time – and similar to vChatter, which also powers social network Bebo’s own take on the idea – users have to log-in via Facebook, therefore insisting on a certain amount of real identity […]

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