Aiming to keep pace with recent new wireless inroads made by Yahoo and Google, AOL Tuesday unveiled new mobile versions of its online services within a revamped WAP portal. This major relaunch, accessible on your web enabled phone at AOL.com, includes upgrades that are mobile-friendly versions of AOL Search, Mail, MapQuest, and AOL Instant Messenger, among other features. The new mobile search, for instance, will offer results that are more tailored to users on the go, such as driving directions and click-to-call options linked to services like MapQuest and Moviefone. A cool new mobile widget for GPS-enabled phones will also allow AIM users to locate each other, marking a step by AOL into the mobile social networking area.
AOL has quietly assembled a number of good mobile assets over the past couple of years, and they may become a force in the market. Obviously, its purchase of Third Screen Media puts the company into the mobile ad market in a big way. But its new partnership with off-deck content provider ThumbPlay gives it a range of content. If AOL actually can distribute these services and gain traction, then it may have a way to use mobile to get the brand back into users' hearts and minds. Between Yahoo's mobile search play and AOL's mobile portal play, it seems as if also-ran brands are using mobile as a kind of comeback platform. Link(s): Media Post, Oct 24, 2007 - AOL Follows The Mobile Trail and AOL press release