AOL launches language portals, video search engine

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New Delhi, Oct 31 (UNI) In a bid to strengthen its foothold in India, AOL today launched a new local language version of its India portal, along with its popular video search engine, Truveo.

''India is a very important market for AOL,'' said AOL President and COO Ron Grant.

The number of Internet users in urban India has grown by 28 per cent in the past year, and a majority of the active online Indians prefer to read in local Indian languages. ''This has prompted us to start Hindi and Tamil language portals with sections in news, cinema and astrology,'' Mr Grant added.

The company also launched its video search engine, Truveo, to expand its rapidly growing service into several major markets for online video.

Truveo will also launch local language portals for India in the next 18 months. ''We will launch the language portals in the next 18 months after looking at the response we get from the version that we launched today,'' CEO and founder of Truveo Timothy Tuttle told UNI.

Mr Tuttle also said that as Truveo is a search engine and not a host, they would not get into partnership with exclusive channels for media content but might consider strategic partnership with channels for exclusive content.

The website initially will be free of advertisements. ''Later, a layer of targeted ads will be put on but they will not hinder the viewer's experience,'' Mr Tuttle said.

This will be done in a year or so, but we will not have ads of mom and pop stores, he added.

Truveo allows the users to search and browse through videos across the Web, and reaches more than 40 million users a month in the US.

Truveo is also being unveiled in France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Spain, Taiwan, and the UK. Users can search for relevant videos across categories such as cricket, films, music, news, etc.

Over the next two months, Truveo will build on this expansion with the launch of video search sites in additional countries including Australia, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Russia and Turkey.

AOL has been strengthening its Indian operations despite the 2,000 job cuts in the US. The company currently has a headcount of 2,300 in its Bangalore office.


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