Global internet services player AOL has shut down its India-specific site, aol.in. From May 12, visitors to the site are automatically redirected to AOL’s Coolage site ( www.aol.coolage.in ) which concentrates on Indian youth, mainly college students. The company has clarified that Indian users will still be able to use the mobile site (AIM) as well as AOL’s email services ( www.webmail.aol.com ).
Also shut down is the India edition of AOL’s lifestyle men’s portal Asylum, report bloggers.
AOL which has been in India since 2002, based its global customer service operation in Bangalore, serving its 20 million global users, 24x7. It had progressively created an India-specific portal as well as Indian language versions – but these seem to have fallen in the company’s recent restructuring which saw many of its finance and business related staff transferred to Indian partners like MindTree, retaining only small groups to run the Coolage and mobile services.
Taking India off its priority list seems to be part of AOL’s subtle re-invention as an Internet Age company with more business-to-business interfaces – a trend that became apparent after its recent acquisition of US-based resources providers like TechCrunch and Huffington Post.
May 24 2011