AOL has acquired personalised portal company and widget maker Goowy Media with plans to deploy widgets that feature programming, content, applications, and ads. Special widget-based ads will permeate AOL’s ad network and allow users to take the message to other sites.
As part of the products division, Goowy will work closely with ‘Platform A’ as widget ad offering becomes available. Platform A is a division of AOL that houses ad sales for all its sites, ad network properties and supporting technologies. It centralises management of AOL’s all-important network sales operations. The array of ad offerings include both branding and performance-based networks and properties, a mobile network, an in-stream video ad network, a behavioural targeting technology and ad network, and a site-side ad management solution.
“This will be another tool that Platform A will be able to use as part of its toolbox or arsenal of ad solutions. It offers different types of characteristics for ad buyers,” said David Liu, SVP of Social Media, Messaging, and Homepages at AOL.
AOL’s Flash chat property, Userplane, is also a potential unit for selling ad inventory and facilitating working with Goowy. Widget ads are still in the works, but will provide AOL a way to extend the portal’s reach across social networking sites, third-party Websites, and blogs.
“We can turn widgets into ads themselves. With the viral nature, those ads can be spread across to many sites and move beyond where the initial ad was placed,” Liu said, adding, “One has more flexibility to do that with a widget than just a regular banner ad.”