AOL redesigns homepage to allow consumers more customization and access to 3rd party content from one location; continues strategy to open AOL.com to 3rd party content and services. Brand new homepage will let consumers access multiple social networking services directly from AOL.com, becoming the first major portal to offer direct access to information from major social networking sites. This follows the move last month to provide access to multiple e-mail services from the AOL.
The new social networking feature allows consumers to post status updates to multiple social networks at once, and provides profile activity information, including new friend requests, status updates and mail notifications from services such as AIM, Bebo, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and other third-party sites.
AOL also launched new tools and features to give consumers more control over how content and services are displayed, letting them customize the main navigation bar by adding their own Web links, receive continuously updated local news, access RSS feeds from across the Web directly from the main page of AOL.com as well as personalize their experience with new design themes.
“Leveraging our acquisitions of Sphere to deliver related articles and content in the RSS Reader, and Relegence to power local news stories will improve our current offering and serve to bring consumers a differentiated experience,” said Bill Wilson, Executive Vice President, AOL Programming.
In September, the AOL.com site began allowing consumers access to Yahoo!, Gmail and Hotmail accounts, in addition to AOL and AIM Mail, allowing them to check e-mail from multiple accounts without having to go from site to site.
As part of this redesign, AOL’s digital advertising business Platform A and AOL.com are offering more robust capabilities for advertisers including customized wallpapers, increased rich media capabilities, much deeper and richer content integration opportunities and more.
“As the Web becomes more fragmented, consumers want choice and relevance in their Web experiences. AOL.com is the first traditional big portal to offer access to popular social networking sites all in one place,” added Wilson.
The changes to AOL.com advance AOL’s overall programming strategy of focusing on passion points to create vertical websites to lean into the increasing fragmentation of the Web as users access multiple sites to get information that is most relevant and useful to their daily lives.