AOL Buys Social Profile Startup About.me

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Continuing with its strategy of making a series of small-scale acquisitons, AOL (NYSE: AOL) has bought up About.me, a startup that lets users set up uber-simple profile pages, which feature a large photo, a short bio and links to profiles on other social sites (see AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s About.me page here). The About.me team, which is led by Tony Conrad, who founded and also later sold Sphere to AOL, will now join AOL’s consumer applications group in Palo Alto.

Conrad started About.me shortly after he left Sphere in November 2009, saying he had a “burning need to start another company.” The startup subsequently raised $800,000 from high profile backers including AOL’s own venture capital arm, AOL Ventures, About.com founder Scott Kurnit, True Ventures, and Founders Collective.

The service itself, however, launched publicly only four days ago, although it already had about 400,000 beta users, who signed up during a trial this fall, according to a report in TechCrunch.

AOL — which is going to continue running the site, according to Aboutme’s Twitter feed — says in its announcement that by owning the service it will be able to better “provide relevant and meaningful content to consumers.” The acquisition follows a string of recent AOL purchases including Pictela, StudioNow, 5min Media, TechCrunch and Thing Labs.

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