It seems a little bit like overkill to announce this maneuver. After all, given AOL's overall content strategy this year, one might think it goes without saying that AOL would also make AOL Latino free. Of course, AOL wants to remind everyone that AOL Latino targets a large and growing U.S. demographic. Previously, users would have paid about $26 per month for AOL's walled-in services, and now it's unleashed for free onto the Internet, in the hopes of attracting lots of eyeballs (and ad dollars).
Just to get an idea of the stakes here, AOL reminded us that Latinos are the fastest-growing community online. eMarketer has said that there are 15.7 million Latino Internet users here in the U.S., and the number is expected to grow 33% by 2010.
The AOL Latino portal provides the same goodies one expects from AOL -- bilingual content, email, instant messaging, and security products like antivirus services and spam controls. It also provides specific content targeted at Latinos, such as Latin American news headlines, Latino celebrity news and content like concerts, and free English lessons.
This is hardly a revolutionary idea. Yahoo!
AOL has its work cut out for it in duking it out with competitors like Yahoo!, not to mention Google
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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.