My three daughters (aged 16-22) use Bebo almost daily as do every one of their friends.
I put myself up on Bebo for a laugh and to learn more about it. It generated great amusement by my daughters and their pals for awhile that a 50+ dude would be on Bebo. The comments were generous though!
My overall view is that Bebo is quite a good service and particularly suited to Ireland in my opinion. Here is why I think it's good...
1. It is sociable and has helped young people network with both friends and friends of friends and school peer groups etc. It has been said that in Ireland everyone is almost a friend of a friend away from everyone else.
2. It encourages less time watching TV and using computer games so creates some balance.
3. It facilitates a certain amount of creative imagination and freedom of expression in sharing writing, pictures, video etc. It's hardly the stuff of genius but it's a start. Some of the participants are certainly hilarious and have good imaginations.
4. It's well used as a free alternative to mass texting and is great for organising parties and outings. When pals are abroad it's just as easy to stay in touch. It also marries well with Skype for talking free PC to PC.
One possible negative I notice is that a lot of macho talk goes on especially in relation to joking on male-female stuff and relationships generally. I could imagine a degree of bullying might simmer. However it's such an exposed medium that I think it tends to find it's limitations and gets sorted by good peer group pressures. Of course Bebo also has internal mechanisms to report and deal with bad behaviour.
Bebo is hugely popular and it's biggest advantage is that it's a good tool for fun sociable interactions and keeping and extending networks of pals.