Not wanting to be left out of the social networking tea party, AOL snapped up UK-based social network Bebo earlier this morning.
According to the press release, the acquisition "will give AOL a premier position in the fast growing world of social media with a network of approximately 80 million unique users."
The press release also points out that Bebo is "one of the leading social networks" in the UK, but ranked number one in Ireland and New Zealand!
This, of course, on the tail of Facebook's ever-growing internationalization strategy kicks in to (Spain, France, etc.) higher gear.
The asking price? A cool $850 million in U.S. cash., and building on the heels of Bebo's AOL IM interoperability deal.
But AOL ain't the only company around mashin' up IM clients and social networks.
Today IBM announced a new secure mashup technology ("SMash" -- GO IBM naming team!) that can pull information from multiple sources (Web sites, enterprise databases, email, etc.) to create a unified view of information.
Even non-technical folk like myself can use it to get insight on complex situation in minutes, and in a way that the distinct information sources from which the SMashup is drawing are secure and keep malicious code from creeping back into the enterprise.
Many more details to be unveiled at the International World Wide Web Conference at Beijing in April.
For now, you can learn more from the full press release.
Meanwhile, be sure to check out the "Combat Training for the Evolving Web Threat" interactive game at the bottom -- I killed a worm and four virii inside of a minute!