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Social media and the price of perception

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While placing values on celebrity endorsers is a risky business, the same holds true for companies whose values - like celebrities - rely heavily on perception. Take the case of Bebo, an acronym for blog early, blog often. In 2008, when Bebo was Britain’s leading social networking website - even more popular than Facebook and MySpace - it was snatched up by AOL for a whopping $850 million. AOL was hoping to use the acquisition to gain a better foothold in the global market. But less than two years later, the market had completely changed and Bebo had fallen far behind its competitors. AOL unloaded it for reportedly less than $10 million to little-known private investment firm, Criterion Capital Partners.

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