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Bebo to announce developer platform

Following in the footsteps of a number of social-networking sites, Bebo is about to launch a developer initiative of its own.

SAN FRANCISCO--Right now I'm in a theater at San Francisco's Metreon complex, awaiting the official launch of social-networking site Bebo's "Open Application Platform." The announcement has not yet been made, but from what I gather, this will be exactly what we think it is.

The Social Times reported Tuesday that the youth-oriented Bebo, which has made its strongest inroads in the U.K., would be "announcing a number of partners including the usual suspects: iLike, Last.FM, Vampires, Where I've Been, Flixster, Horoscopes by RockYou, My Music by Qloud, Super Comments by RockYou, Likeness, Yahoo Answers, Warbook and more." But in the minutes before the announcement, the most prominent partner in the house is application engine Widgetbox, whose employees are all wearing t-shirts that say "We has widgets!" on the front.

According to a card that's been handed out to members of the press, Widgetbox has created two applications for Bebo, one called "Bite Some Sugar" (no clue what that is) and one called "Gap Model Maker" in conjunction with the clothing retail company.

This makes Bebo the third social network in three days to make a major developer platform announcement. Business-oriented networking site LinkedIn made its platform announcement on Monday, and Friendster followed suit on Tuesday. Both of those companies, as well as Bebo, are also partners in Google's OpenSocial initiative.

More to come...