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AOL Launches Mobile Search

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Google may have won the fixed line search sweepstakes, but mobile search remains an open territory, for anyone to conquer — countless start-ups, Yahoo, Nokia. Add AOL to the list, which is launching a revamped (beta) version of its mobile search service today.

Unlike its previous mobile search offering, AOL folks have worked out an interface that requires minimal triple-tap typing. Using keywords and tabs, it is easier for mobile surfers to find some of AOL services such as maps, movie information and local information.

twx_nocell_final.jpgAOL executives label this an “action oriented information access” approach, and have integrated Click2Call features into the new beta offering. This allows phone owner to tap (or highlight) on any phone number listed in the results and initiate a call. These features will drive additional revenues for AOL, and will also appease the carriers, as it can prompt more airtime usage.

AOL is also embedding ads using Third Screen Media (a company AOL acquired earlier this year) in the new offering that comes in two flavors – one for basic phones that come with WAP browsers, and one that is optimized for smart phones. For now Windows Mobile-based smart phones are the only phones supported, but support for other devices is on cards.

AOL’s new offering, at first blush seems simple and useful, though as is the case with most such offerings they have to pass the test of time.

15 Responses to “AOL Launches Mobile Search”

  1. Jesse Kopelman

    No initial WAP support?! But that’s the only platform this makes any sense. Doesn’t all the iPhone love pretty much signal that the end of the mobile version of the web is nigh? This would have been a very good idea 5 years ago . . .

  2. Farhan,

    Been testing your service. How about adding support for local address and real time GPS information.

    We have an ultra thin client for Windows Mobile (<200K) that allows you to do all of that in real time. All you need on the server side is Mod_Mobile (an 80K plug-in module).

    The beauty of this is that it would allow AOL to deliver local contextual ads based on GPS location rather than Zip code. Much more compelling and a much higher CPM

    You can find out more on our web site…


  3. HI thanks for this. I just tested it here in Germany and the search is the same as the old one. Is this US centric only or it there a special URL only for BETA testers.

    Any more would be greatly appreciated! bena