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AOL Appoints Industry Veteran, Erika Nardini As Vice President For AOL Advertising

New York -- AOL, Inc. in its quest to compete with industry rivals, attempts to revitalize its emerging marketing unit, and over the weekend the company succeeded in appointing industry expert Erika Nardini, to assume the new position of vice president, head of marketing solutions for AOL Advertising.

 

AOL Unfurls “Entrance” Entertainment App For Windows Phone

New York -- In an attempt to keep pace with the advancing web frontier, and to demonstrate its seriousness about the success of its latest Lumia devices, Nokia is jumping in bed with AOL today, touting a “first-of-its-kind” augmented reality feature, which permits users to find movie theaters and showtimes nearby by glancing through theaters, movie posters, and times that appear overlaid on a local map.

AOL Rolls Out Ads On TV App For Samsung, Sony, Roku Devices

New York -- Struggling to keep with the advancement AOL is rolling out a new version of its connected TV app, AOL On Network, is getting a new look and expanding to more platforms with a new video ad-serving capability, the company said over the weekend.

Interestingly, the latest version 2.0 of its connected TV app will now be available on Samsung Electronics Smart TVs, Sony Electronics and Roku over-the-top devices, adding the ability to serve pre-roll ads against 380,000-plus short-form video clips. The app will also be available in a beta phase on TiVo through its premiere DVRs.

AOL Mail Gets First Makeover In Five Years With Much Smarter Look

 


New York -- Relentlessly striving to compete with its rivals, yesteryears internet pioneer AOL over the weekend, unveiled a completely revamped version of its stodgy old e-mail service with a cleaner shiny new design, after an astounding five years without major change, a move that could help it retain the 24 million users it has left from moving to competitors.

Beginning in December of last year, AOL began unveiling a new version of the service to its 24 million users. And now, this is the first major overhaul since 2007, and the new AOL Mail trims down on the clutter, the company said, and adds app-like access to other services.

 

AOL Mail's new design

The service now supports a design with less clutter and an ad bar that has been moved from the top of the page to the right side. Next, the chat window as well has moved to the lower left corner of the inbox, much like Gmail's GChat window. Click the tabs above the AIM window for quick access to contacts, events, and to-do lists, which AOL dubbed “mini apps.”

“People have email fatigue, so we wanted something more stylish and lighter than in the past,” Joshua Ramirez, senior director of product for AOL Mail, said in a statement. “We are spent a lot of time with an emphasis on improving the design and experience.”

David Temkin, SVP of mail and mobile, asserted that redesigning this service was, “kind of playing with fire.” AOL e-mail drives “a ton” of traffic to AOL content sites, “from Huffington Post on down,” Temkin said. “There is just lots of money and users on the line.”

To his credit, Temkin, completely agreed about the fact that this is overdue. “The market has changed and people have higher expectations for user experience,” he said in an interview yesterday. “Our visuals and interaction design was dated and suboptimal.”

Continuing he said, for me at least, getting an email from an AOL address is like a blast from the past -- but 24 million people still use the product. The Mail audience tends older and a bit more female. “It is almost like flyover territories,” Temkin noted about tech-savvy people's blind spot for AOL.

“A large number of users have been with us since the '90s,” Temkin said. “Not the majority.”

AOL Mail's old look

On top of a cleaner design, above the inbox, there are also quick links for starting an IM or text message, as well as a refresh button for email. Notably, people can IM each other using AIM, Facebook chat, and SMS all while looking at the inbox. The company promised easier-to-read fonts and icons, as well as new options for customization. Users can also customize the look of their inboxes with more than 40 colorful themes.

Going forward, AOL Mail ranks as the No. 4 service, after Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft mail. Can it move up in the rankings? I'm skeptical about that, but it does have a committed audience, and not only do they deserve a modern product but AOL really should be making some money from them too. “We want to turn AOL into a growth product,” Temkin says.

AOL Touts New Online Hub For Video Content At “NewFront”

New York -- AOL, the web giant on Tuesday unleashed a new programming hub for online video content at its digital content “NewFront” that will comprise of 14 content channels and centralize all AOL video in one place, especially aimed at luring TV buyers with takes on familiar concepts, such as crime-scene investigations and housewife angst, that have made fortunes for the networks in the last decade.

The announcement is being made on Tuesday at AOL's 2012 Digital Content NewFront at Highline Stages in New York City, the equivalent of the television upfronts for online video companies. The new hub entitled as “AOL On Network,” which the company believes that 60 million North America consumers will tune into 14 new content channels that will bring together curated videos from the likes of Nina Garcia, Heidi Klum and Adrian Grenier and original programming, including the launch of seven new series.

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