AOL, a division of Time Warner, has launched its India-centric portal www.AOL.in, a website that offers email, AOL Messenger, mobile services, videos, news, sports, entertainment and more. AOL.in will become the first service worldwide to offer AOL’s next-generation email service, which includes unlimited storage, leading safety and spam protections, and mobile access.
AOL.in also offers mobile services, including messaging and downloads at the short-code 51515. Users can also access Google search. Google owns five per cent of AOL.
Said AOL President and COO Ron Grant, “AOL has built one of the world’s largest online communities, and now we want to extend that community into India. As part of the world’s leading media company, AOL brings together a global audience of hundreds of millions of users with the latest products and technologies. AOL.in will combine the best of America with the best of India.”
AOL.in gives users a wide range of content, including robust video and special channels dedicated to Bollywood, city guide, cricket, education, Hollywood, news, sports, international music and a ‘Guru’ channel with video advice from experts. Leveraging popular brands within the Time Warner family, AOL.in will also include videos and other content from other Time Warner companies, including Warner Bros and Cartoon Network.
The AOL Messenger offers offline messages, picture sharing, personalisation, grouped messaging and simultaneous multiple IDs. On the other hand, GPRS services are available on wap.aol.in.
Maneesh Dhir, Executive VP, International, AOL, said, “By launching our new mail product in India, we are making a powerful statement about the importance of India to AOL and the online world. AOL.in is our first portal launch outside of North America and Europe, and it shows how committed we are to this market for the long term.”
Dhir was named EVP in charge of AOL’s international operations in January 2007. Soon after his elevation, Dhir announced that he would lead his worldwide efforts from Bangalore, thus making him the first international head of a global online company to be based in India. Prior to being appointed as EVP, Dhir was Senior VP and Country Manager for AOL’s operations in India.
“As India’s online world rapidly grows and matures, the needs of online consumers are quickly evolving. We are building a portal to meet the needs of India’s millions of online users,” said PG Ponnapa, VP and General Manager, AOL Interactive Media, India.
AOL has been working and building new services in India for more than five years. It began with the Bangalore Service Centre, which opened in 2002.