AOL Launches Blog Service for Teens

AOL officially launched its RED Blogs service Tuesday, aimed at capturing some of the growing popularity of online Web logs by focusing on the teen segment. AOL members can create fully customizable journals, and either keep them completely private, open to only friends, or as a normal blog that anyone can view.

Before launching the product, AOL commissioned a survey to gauge teens' interest in blogging. It found that teens were almost evenly split, 51-49, on whether they would want to share their personal feelings with their parents or on a blog.

Even further, nearly one-third of all teens surveyed said they had either read or created an online journal.

RED Blogs will also add protective features for concerned parents. While AOL users over 15 years of age will have the freedom to do as they please with their journals, those wanting to read the blogs of members under the age of 15 will require that blogger's parental consent.

AOL's announcement that it will be entering the "blogosphere" follows Microsoft's successful launch of MSN Spaces and Yahoo's recently announced 360 blog offering. While RED Blogs will be age restricted, AOL did already offer a blog-like product called Journals.

Like its rivals, AOL has high hopes for its entry into blogs. "With the unique customization features threaded throughout RED blogs, we are confident that our more than 5 million teen members will find this the best place online to express their creativity, showcase ideas and share their thoughts with others," said Malcolm Bird, Senior Vice President and General Manager AOL Teens & Kids.

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