Facebook: Amazon Is Shifting Gears and May Be Grinding Toward Social Media Land

June 19, 2019

The zippy 2019 news cycle is writing about Facebook: Its digital currency, a thriller for those working to enforce assorted rules and regulations about money. Facebook’s trust issues percolate in the stories as well; for example, “Facebook’s Crypto currency Has a Trust Problem,” which explains — well, obviously — Facebook’s method of saying one thing and just chugging along mostly doing what it wants to do. One must not overlook the legal tussles like the Cambridge Analytica matter; for example, “The Cambridge Analytica Debacle: A Legal Primer.” Exciting stuff.

There was an announcement which the DarkCyber team noted; specifically, “Game Streaming Site Twitch Buys Social Network Bebo.” Yawn. Bebo, a social media service founded in 2005. That’s so yesterday. Bebo pivoted to social apps, but that did not work out as planned. Then Bebo tried a hashtag messaging app. The idea was that a message had content and it had user assigned index terms just like Twitter. More recently, Bebo has dabbled in young people playing games. Think intramural sports with games like Fortnite. Bowling leagues for people who prefer digital games to those which can result in two a days, bruises, and rides on a team bus.

Wikipedia provides more details of the Bebo trajectory. The reports about this deal like “Amazon’s Twitch Acquired Social Networking Platform Bebo for up to $25 million to Bolster Its Esports Efforts” hit the basics:

  • Twitch will be buying pizzas for the Bebo team
  • Amazon paid an alleged $25 million for the Bebo property (fungible and intellectual property like Monkey Inferno)
  • Hope for the future.

DarkCyber’s view of the deal is mostly in line with the publicly available news reports. However, Amazon has access to data about Twitch, including outputs from users who exchange messages, inputs from “creators” or “live streamers” who want special features without having to arm wrestle with third party software, and Amazon’s own big thinkers who understand that “games” are not part of the fabric of outfits like Amazon, Facebook, and — are you ready for it? — Netflix.

There are also implications for intelligence and law enforcement and, of course, for Facebook, a digital country with its own fledgling sovereign currency. The Bezos bulldozer might be making tracks for Palo Alto to redevelop a certain billionaire’s compound.

Stephen E Arnold, June 19, 2019


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