AOL's Products and Technologies Group today announced the launch of an enhanced version of AOL Web Mail that offers users one-click access to Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and a variety of third-party sites and destinations directly from the AOL Web Mail page, http://mail.aol.com. Over the past year, AOL has added more than 30 new features and a variety of new functionality to Web Mail in an effort to make it more open to third-party content and to offer more monetization opportunities to advertisers. The new version is being released globally, making it available in more than 38 countries and locales around the world.
"Web Mail is an integral part of the AOL experience and at the heart of our product offerings," said Ted Cahall, President, AOL Products and Technologies. "With this new release, we can showcase the important role AOL products continue to play in the company. Enhancing products that already attract a large, engaged audience is a key goal for our organization."
Overall, AOL Mail solidified its position as the second most-popular free e-mail service in 2008 with more than 48 million users* -- an increase of almost 4 million users over the course of the year. According to Comscore, AOL Web Mail experienced a 27% increase in unique visitors** year-over-year in 2008, and Web Mail page views were up by more than 21 percent.**
Key features of AOL's new Web Mail product include:
— Access to 3rd Party E-mail Accounts: The third-party mail plug-ins allow users to preview Yahoo! Mail and Gmail within the AOL Web Mail experience, as well as take advantage of one-click access to Yahoo! Mail and Gmail.
— Faster performance: Using updated technologies, AOL has increased the speed and performance of its Web Mail experience, and enhanced the user interface to make it more intuitive.
— Themed Skins: More than 45 new "skins" or themes let users personalize their page, and offer advertisers the ability to work with AOL to create themes that will appeal to key audiences.
— Plug-in Gallery: Users can customize their Web Mail page by choosing from a variety of new plug-ins offering one-click access to favorite sites, content, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. The Gallery also offers access to all of the AOL gadgets currently stored in the myAOL Gallery. In addition, AOL is inviting third-party developers to create new gadgets for Web Mail via http://dev.aol.com.
— AOL Sync: Users can make real-time updates to AOL Calendar and Address Book from their desktop or a variety of wireless devices, including the Blackberry and iPhone. In addition, users around the globe can enjoy a completely mobile AOL Mail experience from virtually any device.
"People who are using AOL Mail represent an already-engaged audience," said Rich Landsman, Senior Vice President, AOL Mail. "As we continue to extend our capabilities far beyond sending and receiving mail, we are challenging ourselves and third-party developers everywhere to create new opportunities for delivering customized, relevant content using our mail platform."
Today's launch marks the first release from the AOL Product and Technologies Group, created as one of the final steps in AOL's transformation to an advertising-supported business. The new group includes several of AOL's most significant products and platforms, including Mail, Mapquest, http://www.mapquest.com, AOL Search, http://search.aol.com, Truveo video search, http://www.truveo.com, and AOL Mobile, as well as the back-end infrastructure supporting many of the company's products and programming sites.
*This number includes AOL Proprietary Mail, AOL.COM Mail, and AIM Mail users.
**This number includes AOL.COM Mail and AIM Mail users.
AOL is a global Web services company that operates some of the most popular Web destinations, offers a comprehensive suite of free software and services, runs one of the largest Internet access businesses in the U.S., and provides20a full set of advertising solutions. A majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., AOL LLC and its subsidiaries have operations in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. Learn more at AOL.com.