By Sahil Patel
Users who visit AOL.com will get the option to switch to a new homepage format that prioritizes video and mobile above all else, according to the company.
The new AOL.com switches from a feed-based design to one that features tiles (or “modules”) that are hand-curated and constantly updated to feature the most relevant and trending topics and content (including video) on the web. These tiles are shareable, with users having the option to quickly post them on the major social networks.
Video, which has been a core element of the AOL business for the past five years, will have similar priority on the page, with 95% of all content on the page featuring some type of video, according to an AOL spokesperson.
The format also easily lends itself to mobile, as the tiles are dynamically generated to ensure that they fit a variety of different screen sizes.
The stats support AOL.com’s shift to video and mobile. Based on internal data provided by AOL, AOL.com witnessed a 93.8% year-over-year growth in video views in April 2015. On the mobile front, AOL.com has had a 79.5% growth in unique visitors since June 2014, and is now reaching 11.8 uniques per month across mobile platforms — accounting for 37.6% of all monthly traffic to AOL.com, according to ComScore data.
With both tracking in a positive direction, AOL aims to amp up the amount of video it runs through AOL.com. Most videos will be short-form — driven by the fact that the top 20 videos on AOL.com in April had the average length of 2:09, per AOL data — and will include both AOL-produced clips as well as those from the company’s syndication partners for AOL On.
This will help AOL.com routinely feed its users with timely and trending clips. “Content is infinite but time is not,” said Maureen Sullivan, president of AOL.com and its Lifestyle Brands group. “The key is to deliver what people care about throughout the day, when and where they want to see it.”
For advertisers, it’s also an opportunity to seed their ads/content natively into the site, she added.
That said, with all the changes, users will retain the option to go back to the old AOL.com if that’s what they prefer.