AOL rolled out and update to AOL Mail last week, which is the first major overhaul for the Internet giant in close to five years. Over that time many have abandoned their AOL mail accounts for Google’s Gmail, but according to comScore AOL still have 24 million, but other reports say it is closer to 5 million (yes, quite a variance), maybe it is a matter of active vs. inactive account.
AOL says this redesign offers a cleaner interface, and the backend infrastructure has also been overhauled which will provide a faster and more stable experience, unfortunately five years a little late in such a competitive space when you consider that Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo all offer a mail product.
Of course the big question is “What is AOL Canada to Canadian consumers?” Any Canadians older than 30 recall the days when AOL was a dial up ISP service and had the cds that you would get by visiting your local Royal Bank. Today one of their biggest strengths is Huffington Post, which continues to command eyeballs in Canada. However, what is AOL Canada to that next generation? Do Canadians under 25 visit the site (or its properties) on a daily basis? If so, which of the properties drives them back and offers the type of content that they want to share with their fellow friends on Facebook, Twitter, or who also hold an AOL account? We won’t even get into mobile, as that is still another area where AOL is lacking. Last year AOL launched a mobile news reader but that quickly fell to the way-side, especially as competitors such as Pulse and Flipboard have gained in market share on Apple and Android-based devices.