AOL Opens Up Site To Social Networks

AOL's My NetworksAs part of its open strategy, AOL today unveiled a new feature allowing users to access social networks including MySpace, Facebook and Bebo directly from the Web portal's redesigned home page.

The "My Networks" feature lets AOL visitors post status updates to multiple social networks at once as well as provide profile activity information such as new friend requests and mail notifications from third-party social sites. The move follows AOL's step last month to offer direct access to outside e-mail services including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail via prominent links on its home page.

Both AOL and Yahoo are taking steps to reinvigorate and open up their sites to hold onto audiences and compete with faster-growing upstarts such as Facebook. Yahoo's recently revamped home page also includes links to outside e-mail providers including AOL.



Along with easier access to social networks, AOL is also providing users with new personalization tools for adding their own Web links, getting constantly updated local news and RSS feeds from across the Internet.

For advertisers, the Time Warner unit is promising more options including customized skins, increased rich media features and deeper content integration with campaigns. The redesign efforts also extend to AOL Mail, which has been given "an updated look and feel," according to the company.

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