AOL changes look, opens email, gets more social

September 10, 2008

aol_sept_mock_v5.jpgAOL has relaunched with a redesigned page. It has also unveiled a new ‘every email’ feature that allows consumers to access multiple email services and integrates access to social networking sites.

Effectively AOL is getting more ‘social’ by allowing users to access not just AOL and AIM email on their AOL page but also Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail. Paid Content points out that Hotmail is not directly accessible through AOL.com, so AOL is providing a link that can be inserted in one of the module email slots and and a link to Microsoft feedback so people can ask for the feature.

 In addition to being more open, AOL hopes the email aggregation will help recapture some of the user attention it lost before people leaving the ISP were allowed to keep their AOL addressesPaid Content.

AOL said that over the next eight weeks, it will launch tools and features to further personalize the page. This means opening up AOL.com to third party content and services for the first time, including networking feeds like Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and Twitter.

Personalized Web pages like Netvibes or Pageflakes or even Google’s iGoogle and Yahoo’s MyYahoo have become more popular for users.

“For a portal to be relevant to consumers today, it has to recognize that users seek a variety of different experiences and connections with their various networks and information sources,” said Bill Wilson, AOL’s executive VP of programming. 

Keep an eye on:

  • Disney says business is resilient despite the economy – (Reuters)
  • CBS chief optimistic of U.S. TV ad market (Reuters)
  • Liberty Media eyes merging DirecTV, Liberty Entertainment (Reuters)

(Photo courtesy of AOL)

One comment

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I’m more confident about Yahoo making a resurgence with these new personalized features that I am AOL. Not that I think AOL’s going to die off or anything, but nor would I expect great things.