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Social Network Bebo Extends Reach On Mobile Phones

The company has teamed up with Intercasting to build on its 40 million-plus members.
Social networking site Bebo said Wednesday it has partnered with Intercasting to increase the number of mobile carriers Bebo members can use to access the U.K. company's service via their cellular phones.

Intercasting provides a platform for connecting mobile carriers with social networking sites. Called Anthem, the platform will be extended to Bebo's 40 million-plus members, who will be able to produce and share content through an Intercasting-provided client. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

Bebo members will be able to send and receive photos and messages, post comments, search profiles, and access other services.

"Bebo users increasingly want to be able to connect on the go," Ziv Navoth, VP of business development and marketing for Bebo, said in a statement. "This partnership will extend Bebo's mobile offering and benefit our members by giving them access to the site anytime, anywhere."

Carriers that use Intercasting include 3 UK, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Sprint. Bebo, the second-largest social network in the United Kingdom behind Facebook, recently signed deals with mobile carrier T-Mobile in the United Kingdom. Bebo also has partnerships with operator Orange in the United Kingdom and with O2 in Ireland.

One interesting feature in the Intercasting application is the tight integration it provides between a mobile phone's address book and the Bebo site. On Tuesday, Yahoo introduced a new mobile phone service called oneConnect that provides a socially connected address book.

The feature allows users to transfer activities from social networks, professional networks, and communities to their address books. For example, users will be able to stay on top of when contacts update their status or upload photos to their profiles. In general, oneConnect combines e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging, and social networking in one mobile platform.

Yahoo plans to roll out oneConnect as part of Yahoo Go 3.0, an all-in-one mobile offering, in the second quarter of the year.

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