When AOL bought Bebo in March for $850 million you had to wonder what their main plans were for the service and it seems they are beginning to come up with a game plan, challenging facebook for their instant messaging service.
AOL have begun planning for their new instant messaging service that will be enabled onto a social networking site using a technology they purchased in 2006 from userplane. This will allow you chat to friends and see invitations and messages in real time at the bottom of the screen, this of course sounds a lot like facebook who already has a service like this that enables you to see application invites and wall posts.
Venture Beat are running this story and have been given some insights from AOL about what we could see on the social networking site, one of the main features was discussed and announced by Kara Swisher, "Includes offering AOLs various social-networking tools - such as chat rooms, news feeds and instant messaging, to be easily embedded by any Web site. The service will be called "Site Social," with plans to use AOLs advertising platform to help monetize the offering.".
Bebo already has a life streaming homepage which was implemented earlier on this year which has made the site alot easier to use, life streaming is where you can share just about anything ranging from flickr photos to updates on what you are doing at that exact moment in time.
This service is by no means new to regular users of web 2.0 sites, for example Meebo already has a chatroom feature and further more has integration with Myspace and Facebook instant messengers. On top of that Meebo is financed by Time Warner (parent company to AOL) which gives them a major advantage over the competitors. But if AOL can convert all of Bebos users to using this service it could put them at the forefront of messaging once again.