Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Bebo Works


File Hosting, My Lifestory and Whiteboards
Bebo's My Lifestory page organizes photos, videos and other content chronologically.
Bebo's My Lifestory page organizes photos, videos and other content chronologically.
Screenshot by HowStuffWorks.com

Like many online social networking sites, Bebo lets users upload images to their profiles. Members can create photo albums and share them with friends. They can also upload videos to Bebo by becoming a member of Motionbox.

Bebo partners with Motionbox to host user videos. In fact, any video uploaded to Bebo actually goes to Motionbox. Motionbox uses a Flash-based video player. The basic Motionbox account is free and allows members to upload videos of up to 100 megabytes. That translates to somewhere between five and 10 minutes of high-definition footage. Motionbox also offers the option to upgrade to a premium account. Premium members can store an unlimited number of high-definition videos for $29.99 per year.

Every Bebo member can also build an interactive timeline that Bebo calls My Lifestory. You build your timeline by creating an event. You assign the event a date, title and description. You can also include photos and links to other Web sites. Let's say you have a dozen photos from your last birthday party. You could create an event, date it to match the day of the party and upload the photos. Your friends on Bebo can explore your My Lifestory chronologically and see all the events you've added.

Bebo's My Lifestory feature sets it apart from sites like Facebook and MySpace. It's similar to the way the Web service Plurk organizes entries. But while Plurk organizes your entries based upon when you create them, Bebo lets you assign any date you like. In a way, the feature lets you create an autobiography.

Bebo also includes a feature called the whiteboard. The whiteboard is a lot like Facebook's wall feature -- this is where other people can leave comments and notes for you. But Bebo takes the feature one step further. Bebo's whiteboard lets you draw pictures using a Flash-based art application. You can express yourself artistically and design a true work of art or simply rely upon the universal communicator: the stick figure.