SAN FRANCISCO: Social networking website Bebo is boosting its US presence with the launch of a platform variant targeting the Latino audience, based on partnerships with fellow network AOL Latino and Hearst Digital.

The new venture includes news, music, sport and lifestyle content from AOL Latino together with video, pictures and polls from Hearst. The editorial focus is on the coming out celebrations of 15-year-old Latina girls, known as the 'quinceañeras'.

"Expanding into new markets is a key pillar of our growth strategy, and we see huge potential for the growing Latino audience in the US," said Bebo's vice president of international, Nicole Vanderbilt.

At a time when the revenue-generating ability of social networking sites is being questioned, Bebo positions itself as an advertiser-friendly site. This latest initiative reflects the fact that 10% of web usage is already driven by Latinos, backed by US Census Bureau data suggesting that the US population's Hispanic and Asian segments will be the fastest growing over the next 30 years.

However, Bebo is entering a market already occupied by a dozen or more competitors, amongst them sites such as LatinosConnected, and

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff