Bebo was supposed to be a very, very big social network—so big, AOL paid $850 million for it back in 2005. Ha, ha, ha. That never happened. It's dead. But today, the site's founder says he's buying it back for 1/850th of the sale price, just for "fun." Fun! This is what's fun, now.
I guess, looking back, this might be the day These People decided money doesn't mean much of anything anymore:
We just bought Bebo back for $1m. Can we actually re-invent it? Who knows, but it will be fun trying...— Michael Birch (@mickbirch) July 1, 2013
Will this amount of money I just spent end up mattering at all? Who knows.
Birch, who created Bebo and has long since massively profited from its sale and implosion, just bought it as a goof. A hobby purchase. Like someone might purchase an old junker car, or a broken lamp, and maybe tinker around with it on weekends in the basement, Michael Birch spent $1 million to play around with a dead website. Maybe it'll become a real thing again—it very well could be. Maybe not. More importantly, who cares—if we live in a word where $850 million can be shifted around so weightlessly, why wouldn't you treat web properties as a diversion?
It'll be worth it just to talk about at The Battery, the geeky private social club for other rich people Birch is bankrolling. Remember when I bought Bebo back? Guffaw. Birch, you crazy son of a bitch. AOL will not be laughing.