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Jan 7th 2014

Engadget Launches New, Mobile-First Product at CES

On Friday, we launched a new product for Engadget called Engadget Mini: the first test of a new microblogging platform we built for delivering real-time updates of all sorts of different content, including headlines, links, photos, videos, tweets, and comments.

We made this because we wanted to create a new kind of content experience designed for the screen in your pocket, not the one on your desk. We also wanted something that reflected the ways media has changed over the years, so there's a big emphasis in Mini on curating great content from across the social web.

Why launch at CES? Because there is no bigger event in the consumer electronics world, and we thought it'd be great to offer a real-time stream of everything interesting, important, and fun going on at the show.

We're going to keep Engadget Mini going after CES ends, and after making some improvements from what we learn over the course of the week, we hope to bring Mini to other brands here at AOL later this year. You can find it on the right-rail of Engadget.com and at mini.engadget.com, but the best way to experience Engadget Mini is on your phone or tablet using the iOS and Android apps that are available for it.

Sep 11th 2013

AOL Networks Announces Pictela Product Enhancements and the Launch of its New Global Innovation Lab

Rich, interactive ads with high quality content and engaging features offer a compelling way for brand advertisers to connect with digital audiences-especially as more and more people are tuning out static banners. AOL Networks cloud-based Pictela platform simplifies and streamlines the creation of premium formats. The Pictela platform also empowers users to create and launch beautiful, highly engaging content-led advertisements for display, mobile and tablet efficiently and at scale.

Today, aligning with our goal of simplifying advertising at scale for advertisers, publishers and agencies, we are announcing a number of product enhancements to Pictela that make working with premium formats easier and more efficient than ever:
  • Turbo boost the creation of custom ads. Pictela has always been distinguished by its library of premium, award-winning templates (like the IAB's Rising Star formats including the 300x1050 Devil unit) that can be used to launch rich ads quickly and easily-no coding required. Now, Pictela also provides a platform for bringing custom formats of any size to life, allowing valued in-house developers and designers to automate some of the more basic and mechanical aspects of ad building so that they can shift their focus to creative innovation.
  • Cloud-based collaboration. Pictela's new centralized, browser-based workflow tool enables designers, producers, clients, traffickers and other key stakeholders to collaborate on ad design, testing and approvals in real-time. This feature helps reduce the inefficiencies involved in endless email chains and back and forth phone calls, resulting in fewer errors, more effective collaboration and faster time-to-market.
  • Real-time control. Advertisers and publishers want to be able to act on incoming data about how premium ads are performing. Pictela now allows users to update or publish changes to live campaigns in real-time, in order to optimize impact. Pictela also supports greater control of cross-platform ad development, ensuring that premium messages look great whether they are appearing on a desktop, smart phone or tablet.
The new Pictela platform puts publishers, agencies and advertisers on the fast track to building rich, high-impact premium ad formats, at scale.

AOL Networks is also launching a global Innovation Lab. The Lab will bring together top tier advertising tech talent from AOL Networks and marketing brand and technology executives to solve core business challenges they face in the ad technology space. The goal is to run hackathon style collaborations and deploy a creative solution within a 48-hour timeframe that delivers on the clients marketing business objectives, using AOL's mix of scalable solutions, technology and platforms. The lab aims to challenge the status quo in internet advertising by delivering premium, industry first solutions for brands at scale.
For updates and the latest news from AOL, follow @AOLPR on Twitter.

Sep 10th 2013

CrunchBase Launches Mobile Site

We're pleased to announce the launch of a mobile version of CrunchBase for your smartphone!
Now, you can easily search for startups you're following and view general info, people, acquisitions, investments and competitors – all optimized for your mobile phone. You can also easily go to the desktop view to contribute to the database.

Check it out at m.crunchbase.com.

For updates and the latest news from AOL, follow @AOLPR on Twitter.

Nov 19th 2012

AOL's Vicki Draper Talks Mobile-First and Results From Award-Winning Research

There is no denying the growing importance of mobile devices these days – people of all ages, professions and locations are constantly on their phones for work and social purposes. What may not be as obvious is the "why". AOL's Vicki Draper, Senior Manager Consumer Analytics and Research, and Denise Brien, Director of Consumer Analytics and Research, partnered with BBDO to find out. Their study, "Seven Shades of Mobile," just received the annual EXPLOR award, and we thought it would be a perfect time to catch up with Vicki to chat about the study and learn a bit more about her. Here is what they uncovered...

"Having the consumer in mind and being able to engage and meet their needs is critical," says Draper. In her role, Draper conducts and coordinates research initiatives across the organization, which, in turn, helps to position AOL as a thought leader in the industry.

The study was conducted in order to learn more about the behavior of mobile users, specifically smartphone users. "To truly see the deeper motivations behind what people are doing in the mobile sphere. A lot of research is out there on this, but no one answered what we have found on this research," she explained.

Vicki was surprised by three results of this study in particular: "We found out that 68% of all smartphone use was in home - flying in the face of conventional wisdom. Also, we learned that it's not about utility; it's actually much more about 'Me Time' and people spending time on themselves. We found it very interesting that people have different, non–intuitive motivations and paths to get to apps and website in the mobile space. For instance, some people will visit shopping sites on their phones to buy things where others will use shopping sites and apps as a way to relax and get their 'me time'. This has huge implications for the way publishers and marketers program for mobile."

The study has proved to be a trailblazer in mobile research, earning the EXPLOR award last week, at The Market Research Event, for their innovation in technology, as applied to market research. There is only one winner each year for this award and Vicki along with the rest of the team earned this year's title. "Winning this award was my single proudest moment," Vicki said.

In January, Vicki will be presenting Seven Shades of Mobile and several other studies during Engadget's "Tablets of Change" forum at the globally recognized Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

What does Vicki do when she's not finding insights? When she's not in the office Vicki finds her enjoyment as a competitive Latin Ballroom dancer. In October, she won first place awards in cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble and jive at the Paragon Open Dancesport Competition in New Jersey. She also enjoys going on wine tasting vacations and recently traveled with her husband to the Pfalz and Mosel wine regions in Germany.

For additional information on Seven Shades of Mobile click here. To see the full results from the study visit http://advertising.aol.com/research/research-reports/seven-shades-mobile

Oct 9th 2012

Let The Games Begin With An All-New Experience From Games.com


Today Games.com launched a new cross-platform gaming experience, providing gamers with a robust library of free online games. With a library of more than 5,000 games, mobile capabilities, and new engagement and personalized features, Games.com is set to be the number one destination for gaming.

The new experience features an endless list of games to choose from, as well as the ability to jump into a game with just one click. Players can favorite games they play often, and discover new favorites by playing a randomly selected game or the game of the day.

In addition, players can also access their history of games and their badges, points and rankings in the new Social Bar, which is fully integrated in the Games.com experience across all platforms. With just a few clicks, no matter where they are, players can dive straight into their favorite games.

Phase one of the new Games.com Experience includes:
  • Cross Device Functionality– The gaming experience can be enjoyed from a computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Robust Library of Games– With key partnerships with top game developers and distributors, including Arkadium, Big Fish Games, GameHouse, Iplay, Masque Publishing, Mochi Media, and Tylted powering our library, Games.com has something to suit every gamer.
  • Search and Discoverability– Players can find their favorite games on all devices as well as being able to personalize the experience to suit them.

The reinvestment in Games.com demonstrates the commitment AOL has on providing consumers with premium experiences. AOL users have always been passionate about gaming and Games.com is an industry leading experience, allowing users to not only play games but also discover more and share their experiences. If you're interested in learning more about the history of gaming at AOL, check out my blog post on The Huffington Post.

This is just the start for us at Games.com. We have an exciting roadmap of new features and enhancements over the upcoming months so stay tuned, and game on!


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