Bebo partners locally to expand into Europe

Social networking site Bebo has made the leap into Europe, teaming with local media partners to gain a foothold in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands — markets in which Facebook, MySpace and Netlog are already active players.

AOL’s People Networks division announced yesterday that the site will use IP-based geo-targetting to provide services in the user’s first language. This brings to six the number of language options it offers, including English and Polish.

Bebo’s Open Media platform is now open to established and emerging media brands — AlloCiné, Clipfish, Telecom Italia owned Yalp!, Diagonal View and Preview Networks’ Filmtrailer — who will get a ‘Share on Bebo’ button that will allow users to share media content via status updates to their Bebo Lifestream.

Our TechCrunch colleague-across-the-pond Robin Wauters rightly points out that while Bebo is taking the smart approach to rolling out services across Europe by partnering with local media organisations, they are likely to find the competition from entrenched big media companies as well as local players to be pretty stiff.