Time Warner Inc. has announced the decision to make AOL's software and e-mail as well as various other products available for free to broadband users in a move to enhance the growth of its online advertising business.
Among the AOL products that will be available for free to anyone with an Internet connection are: AOL's integrated software; communications features, including AOL e-mail, instant messaging, a local phone number with unlimited incoming calls, and social networking applications; and safety and security features, such as parental controls.
To encourage former members to return to using the AOL software, e-mail, instant messaging and other AOL products, they will be able to reactivate their screen names, if given up within the last two years.
In the weeks ahead, AOL will announce a number of free new products in such areas as safety and security, storage, personalized e-mail domains, video and search, as well as an update of its AOL software.
AOL plans to increase its advertising capabilities by growing the company's large audience. According to Time Warner, the AOL Network has the second-largest US-domestic online audience and is now the third-largest online advertising network in the USA In the second quarter, AOL's advertising revenue grew 40% year over year.
AOL will continue to offer its dial-up access subscription service, but will no longer aggressively market it.