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First AIM Pages Screenshots

Paidcontent.org has a write-up and screen shots of AIM Pages, and AIM Phoneline.  Two quotes from AOL popped out at me:

Kerry Parkins, director of key audience marketing: “Advertisers themselves are trying to get a handle on how to monetize in this space. In general, it’s not a great advertising play.” They’re working with advertisers to expand presence beyond the standard “build a profile for the Tom Hanks character in The DaVinci Code” but are concerned about it will play. “You can create community around (a) product … but it’s a different advertising model. We really want to let the community grow first and be very vibrant before we introduce a degree of commercialism.”

John McKinley, president of digital services and CTO: “We have a chance to grow our namespace. We actually had year-over-year growth on our own metric … about 9.3 percent groth of AIM. We think this is still a movable feast here where we can participate.” He added, “Nobody else is in the market with a product this disruptive.”

AOL clearly has a broad vision of how to monetize this space. It’s pure Voice 2.0. Greg Sterling speculates further, noting that AOL could easily repurpose these two assets to serve small businesses. 

This announcement is more interesting as a marker for where AOL will go, than as a revolution in the making.  Three things are missing:

  1. APIs, so that developers can plug into the AIM Pages platform.
  2. A strong tie-in between AIM Pages and AIM Phoneline.  At this point, despite the vision being delivered by AOL, they appear to be disjoint products.
  3. More functional telephony APIs than AOL has delivered.  Like Skype, and so many other softphone vendors out there, the basics are still not all there.  Call transfer, for instance, is absent from every major IM/Talk product on the market.

They deserve applause for the breadth, and depth of their vision, and the early signs that they’re executing on it are very encouraging.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Kerry Parkins May 10, 2006, 1:23 pm

    Hi Alec. That was me quoted @ paidcontent.org. I wanted to reply to your assertion that we (AOL) needed APIs so that developers can plug into our AIM Pages platform. Take a look at http://www.iamalpha.com. We have the ability there for developers to create modules (and soon themes) for AIM Pages which they can immediately deploy to our entire AOL & AIM user base. We have a revamp of the site coming soon with more formal dev support and better instructions.

  • Alec May 10, 2006, 2:27 pm

    Nice to meet you Kerry! I'd love to look at these API's, but the link you left seems to be broken.


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