Bebo Launches Tools, Contest For Developers

The social networking site now offers utilities that can be used to track user engagement.

K.C. Jones, Contributor

November 12, 2008

2 Min Read

Social media network site Bebo has launched new engagement metrics and developer tools and added a beta version of JavaScript support.

The company demonstrated the new tools Tuesday night during a developer event in Mountain View, Calif. Almost 100 Java, PHP, and Rails developers who have created Bebo applications attended.

Bebo's new metrics reporting tools analyze time spent on the site, percentage of returning users, and total installation of applications. Developers can access the information through an Engagement Metric with dynamic 1-10 rankings. Those who rank highest will gain increased access to viral channels and visibility, including the ability to send feeds to nonapp users.

Bebo also launched a developer challenge for new applications with co-sponsor Sun Startup Essentials, which is offering free Web hosting for Bebo developers for a year through Joyent's cloud computing. Bloggers Dave McClure of 500 Hats, Frank Gruber of, and Jesse Stay of Stay N' Alive will judge the entries. The contest is open to all new applications uploaded to Bebo. Winners will be announced early next year. They will win prizes from Sun Microsystems, as well as on-site promotion through Bebo.

"Bebo's Open Application Platform has allowed developers of all sizes to build engaging applications for Bebo's international user base since its launch nearly one year ago," Jessica Alter, director of business development and platform for Bebo, said in a statement.

Alter said the addition of new metrics and tools will give developers tangible measurements of engagement, allowing them to increase application performance and maximize revenue.

During the event, Blake Commagere, of Ohai, offered information about platform migration. Marina Fisher from the Sun Startup Essentials team talked about deployment on OpenSolaris. And Bebo engineers offered demos from five other applications.

Bebo launched its Open Application Platform last year. It has nearly 14,000 applications for gaming, communications, virtual worlds, music, and entertainment. The site boasts 45 million users worldwide.

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