AOL Latino: Free To Tango

    December 4, 2006

AOL Spanish-language portal dubbed “AOL Latino” is finally made available to users at no cost.

In a decision benefiting their ad-based websites, AOL has recently given away services to increase traffic, including Spanish-language portal AOL Latino.

AOL Latino, which was made a free service today, had previously been unavailable even to users who paid up to $26 a month for their internet access.

The Associated Press reported that David Liu, AOL’s senior vice president said, “This launch represents another phase in the evolution of the U.S. Web portal.”

Launched in 2003, AOL Latino is a, “service for the U.S. Hispanic community. The new service provides AOL features and services such as Toolbar Navigation and Parental Controls in Spanish,” say representatives of the website.

Spearheaded by David Wellisch, the Vice President of the site, AOL Latino established content partnerships with over 15 companies including the Latin GRAMMY Awards, Heineken, American Express, and the Latin Recording Academy.

Features of the portal include a Spanish Welcome Screen, which leads into five Spanish language-programming areas, and content geared specifically toward the Hispanic market.

Enid Burns of Clickz Stats reports that, “within the U.S., the online Hispanic population numbers over 16 million, or 55 percent of the total Hispanic population. Among those 16 million, 77 percent have broadband access.”

Key findings from a cyberstudy conducted by AOL also found that, “Hispanic consumers report spending more time online than total U.S. online consumers,” according to the site.

“What better way to tap into them than with a new free portal?” Ralph Rivera, general manager of AOL Latino, stated according to the Associated Press.

The free access to the AOL Latino portal is expected to help rejuvenate the site, which was losing paying subscribers to rival free portals.

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Autmn Davis is a staff writer for WebProNews covering ebusiness and technology.