Is it whisper, is it a whimper? No, it is AOL.in!
The recently-launched AOL India has to be one of the greatest letdowns in terms of new online launches in India. The production quality is so mediocre that it looks like someone took the US version of the portal and made a cheap Indianised version of it — more like a fake Tommy or a D&G. It kind of, sort of looks the same, but that’s where the similarity ends. It looks like in their rush to release the product, AOL has made the error of bringing out a half-baked product, which is almost an insult to the users.
From the early announcements and noises coming from their Bangalore office, the product was to have a lot of videos, especially its Cartoon Network content, aimed at locking in the future market of today’s kids, and leveraging it to work around the problem of otherwise not having compelling-enough content. There IS video and multimedia on the site, but it is so subdued and run-of-the-mill that it is not even worth commenting on it.
The webmail is nothing but AOL’s international email with a bit of Indian branding and I can only assume that the case won’t be very different with the messenger either. Search is hooked up to Google, an extension of the deal that AOL already has with the search giant, so there’s nothing special there either. They do have a short code ‘51515’ and the content and services are powered by Onmobile India.
I was left looking and searching that there should be something more. But that is it, nothing more on the portal, nada, zilch. It is a very simple word — disappointing.