Log in to the AOL-owned Bebo social network this morning and you’ll see a whole new home page. Like AOL.com, they’ve integrated direct access to AOL, Yahoo and Gmail email accounts, as well as a feed reader. They’ve also fully integrated the Social Thing activity tracker (AOL acquired Social Thing in August 2008), and are adding content that you may like based on a new content recommendation engine that the team has built from the ground up.
The Social Thing integration is an excellent way to track your friends. Unlike FriendFeed, where you track people and create a new friend list, Social Thing lets you simply enter your credentials for your favorite services (Twitter, Delicious, etc.). Social Thing then uses available APIs from those services to pull in activity from the people you already track there. It saves a step, and removes a lot of the clutter that comes with Friendfeed.
The recommendation engine is also a great feature. It determines video, music, groups and games that you may like based on stated preferences and aggregated data on what your friends are up to, as well as people like you and your friends.