London: Bebo, the British-founded social network, has launched a new video chat feature in order to lure more users to the once hugely popular site.
``bChat`` will allow Bebo users to talk to each other via their webcams and hopes to introduce new people to one another who have similar interests.
AOL sold Bebo earlier this year to Criterion Capital Partners for less than 10 million dollars, despite paying 850 million dollars for it only two years earlier, to UK developer Michael Birch and his partner Xochi.
Adam Levin, Bebo`s chief executive, has been ramping up investment in the site since his company purchased it just over five months ago and hopes new features like bChat will help the site retain former users and attract new ones.
"I think we can coexist really well with Facebook as Bebo is a platform now focused on self-expression. Not everyone wants to be on a platform where their Mum and Dad are members," a newspaper quoted him as saying.
"It`s all about reactivating the registered users, who will then tell new users to come and check out new tools and content we are putting on the site," he said.
bChat is powered by vChatter, a social video chat platform, which connects random Bebo users based on their social preferences, geography, age and interests via webcam.
Keen to stress the security of the platform, a spokesman said: "The video conferencing technology monitors user activity to ensure user interactions are safe and clean; and their advanced matching process means connections between people are more likely to be relevant and interesting."