AOL refashions itself as a one-stop portal


AOL.com (the web portal of America Online), was a powerful player in the early days of the Internet, but has lost ground since then due to stiff competition. However, it is currently refashioning itself as a popular one-stop portal.

The web portal rolled out a redesigned homepage yesterday which it hopes will become a central station of sorts for Internet travelers by letting people coordinate social networks, email accounts and more without switching from site to site.

The move comes a month after AOL.com, the number four gateway to the web after Google, MSN and Yahoo, revamped its homepage to allow users to preview outside email accounts without having to navigate away from the homepage.

With “My Networks” users can now log onto their Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, AIM or Twitter accounts directly from the homepage and send a status update to all of them simultaneously. Bill Wilson, executive vice president of AOL Programming, said in a statement:

“AOL.com is the first traditional big portal to offer access to popular social networking sites all in one place. Now consumers can connect with their numerous networks and information sources all from AOL.com”

The new RSS feed browser allows users to receive news from other websites and display it in scrollable window at the bottom of the page. Entering the name of a US city or zip code provides a feed of local news and weather.

Another feature labeled “Themes” gives users the possibility of personalizing the homepage by choosing a color or backdrop of their own design. The functionality of the new site is allowing users to create their own personalised one-stop portals.

Look out Google!

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