TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: AOL Upgrades Messenger

AOL Upgrades Messenger

Reuters News Wire (
Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:26:38 -0600

AOL upgrades messenger, integrates social network

AOL said on Wednesday it will launch an upgrade to its instant
messenger software with new features that let users track some of the
online activities of their friends.

The debut of AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM 6.0, lets users link to
"Really Simple Syndication," or RSS, feeds of their friends that keeps
track of friends who upload videos or posts pictures to sites such as
Google Inc.'s YouTube or Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news)'s Flickr.

The upgrade, which also provides easier-to-find links to AOL's own
take on social networks, popularized by rival service MySpace, comes
amid a restructuring of AOL announced this summer.

Eyeing the surge in online advertising sales growth, the online unit
of the world's biggest media company Time Warner Inc. decided to give
away most of its services for free. It continues to operate a dial-up
Internet service, but no longer markets the service.

Early signs of progress came at the end of the third quarter when it
reported a 46 percent growth in online ad revenue.

"This version (of AIM), and a lot of what we are doing in AIM Pages,
is extending the user-generated communications platform on their terms
with what people care about," AOL Vice President Marcien Jenckes said.

Other features of the upgrade include the ability to leave messages
for friends even if they have logged off and a feature that lets users
save text logs of their conversation.

AIM users can also add up to 1,000 friends on their buddy list.

More than 42 million messaging users are on the AOL Network. Over 30
million of these use AIM.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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