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Thursday, November 16, 2006
AOL Introduces New AIM 6.0 Service

AOL today announced the launch of the new AIM 6.0 service.

Available as a free download at www.aim.com, the new AIM service offers users a variety of new instant messaging features, such as offline messaging and conversation logging, as well as deeper integration with AIM Pages, AOL?s social networking service.

Included in this new client are a mobile dashboard to set up AIM to forward instant messages to the user?s cell phone and an expanded Buddy List feature to add up to 1,000 buddies.

Features in the new AIM 6.0 include:

- Offline Messaging, which enables AIM users to send instant messages to offline users for them to receive when they log back on. The recipient must have the sender in a group on their Buddy List feature in order for them to receive the sender?s offline messages.

- Conversation Logging, which allows AIM users to log and save text-based IM conversations. This opt-in, PC-based feature enables users to save one-on-one or group chats as an HTML file on their computer.

- Mobile Dashboard, which offers AIM users one-click access to their mobile dashboard from the base of the Buddy List. From the mobile dashboard, users can manage mobile alerts, reminders and IM forwarding, which enables users to have IMs sent to their cell phone once they log off the desktop AIM service.

- Expanded Buddy List, which enables AIM users to add up to 1,000 friends, family members and business contacts to their list of key instant messaging contacts.

- AIM Buddy Updates, which allows AIM users to inform their buddies via RSS feeds when they have updated their accounts with YouTube, Digg, Flickr, Xanga and more. AIM Buddy Updates can be set up by visiting http://buddyupdates.aim.com/settings.

- One-Time Sign-In, which enables AIM users to sign in for authentication just once and have access to AIM Expressions for personalization and AIM Mail, as well as features such as IM forwarding and screen name linking without having to re-enter a screen name and password.

- New Away Message Center, which appears near the top of the Buddy List under the AIM user?s own screen name. Here, users can manage their online status.

- Enhanced IM Window, which offers AIM users easy click-and-launch access to video instant messaging, audio chat and picture sharing features right from the IM window.

The new AIM 6.0 service also features integration with AIM Pages, AOL?s social networking service, which launched in limited beta in May, allowing users one-click access to their AIM Page right from the Buddy List. A Buddy Update Indicator next to a friend?s screen name on the AIM Buddy List lets the AIM user know that their friend has updates to share with friends. The user can right-click on the screen name to view that friend?s Buddy Info page and AIM Page.

Starting today, all AIM users now have an AIM Page. To view this new page, AIM 6.0 users simply click on "AIM" at the top of the AIM 6.0 client, then click on "Open My AIM Page." The AIM Page includes any information the user has entered into the Buddy Info page, as well as the amount of time they?ve spent online with AIM, how long they?ve been an AIM user or AOL member, away message, AIM Fight score and any Buddy Updates the user has set up with AIM.

AIM Pages users can also now edit their pages in "advanced" or "quick" edit modes, depending on the level of personalization and detail they want to incorporate into their pages.

In addition, AIM Pages users now have the option to incorporate comments into their page, and can decide whether they want to allow anyone or only their buddies to comment on their AIM Page. Through AIM Pages, users can send Buddy Requests by instant message to their friends. When a user?s buddies accept the invites, the user can add their buddies to their AIM Page and allow them to comment on their page.

The new AIM 6.0 service will soon also offer a redesigned AIM Today companion programming screen (www.aimtoday.com). The new AIM Today is expected to launch next week and will have the same look and feel as AIM 6.0.

AIM users will be able to read the new "BuddyBlog" for updates on products and features, access multiple email accounts, including AOL Mail and AIM Mail, as well as Google Gmail and Yahoo! Mail Plus, read their horoscope and check out Buddy Info for each of their buddies right from the AIM Today screen.

AIM Today will also offer a dashboard for users to manage the AIM Pages Buddy Requests they have sent and received. In addition, AIM Today will offer users customizable tabs to easily toggle between favorite web pages, including a tab for easy entry to AIM Pages.

Recently, AOL announced the beta release of new Web-based AIM APIs (application programming interfaces) and embeddable widgets, called AIM Whimsicals, to enable developers to integrate Web-based instant messaging capabilities for the AIM service directly into their Web sites and online communities.

Now available at http://developer.aim.com, the new Web AIM APIs and AIM Whimsicals are an extension of AOL?s Open AIM program, which launched in March 2006.

Availability: Users can download AIM 6.0 free of charge at http://www.aim.com

System Requirements: AIM 6.0 requires Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 2000.

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