AOL News Discovers Social Media

    June 26, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The AOL News website has a different look and feel this morning, with a cleaner layout and a bunch of social media features.

A new version of AOL News arrived online, and much like the makeover that took place at USA Today’s online outpost, AOL has embraced some functionality that promotes a more interactive news experience.

Developers at AOL have removed the clutter from the news site. Whitespace is a rule instead of an exception, and it shows how a cleaner layout can make even the endless repetition of Paris Hilton stories more readable.

AOL News uses a three-column layout through the new site that lets it show news content in the center; headlines, photos, videos, and blog links on the right; and a running list of topical tags and the most popular and commented-on stories on the left.

Netscape News has some input into the left column. User submitted stories that rank well with Netscape News users will appear in the lower left column of AOL News.

Though Lewis D’Vorkin, senior VP of AOL News & Sports, touted the AOL News redesign as leveraging the increasingly popular blog format, “unlike other news portal sites,” the look and feel does emulate several of those, like the Washington Post, New York Times, and the aforementioned USA Today.