Ted Leonsis at AOL writes about the recent AOL “MySpace Killer” rumors. Here are the additional details he gives:
Here’s a better way of looking at it. The AIM Buddy List (which was introduced 10 years ago) was the orignial social network, and it has 43 million AIM and Buddy List users. We’re working on adding functionality to AIM that will really open it up — allowing developers, partners, and users to take part. It’s going to be fun. Rather than thinking of it as a killer of anything, let alone MySpace, it will allow our millions of users to express themselves in new and interesting ways and become a catalyst for new communities to grow and flourish. We’ll have more to say about it soon.
I’ve done some digging, though, and it appears that a “MySpace Killer” is exactly what AOL is trying to build. From what I am hearing (and which isn’t contradicted by Ted above), AOL plans on building a social network on the back of AIM, which will pre-populate your AIM friends as your social network friends as well. So the key AIM integration will be to pre-build relationships into the new service.
The service will launch at AIM.com, and individual user pages will be aim.com/[username]. Functionality will be similar to MySpace – with blogging, photo and music widgets available for integration. Also, third party companies are being approached to build widgets (similar to Live.com widgets) that can be integrated into the pages using AOL’s I Am Alpha API.
If anyone out there has a screenshot or two, please send them to me. Anonymously is fine.