AOL Launches Blog Service for Teens

The company's RED Blogs service will let young AOL members choose among keeping Weblogs completely private, opening them only to friends or letting anyone view them.

AOL officially launched its RED Blogs service Tuesday, aimed at capturing some of the growing popularity of online Weblogs by focusing on the teen segment. AOL members can create fully customizable journals and choose among keeping them completely private, opening them only to friends or maintaining them as normal blogs 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.

Nearly one-third of all teens surveyed said they had either read or created an online journal.

RED Blogs also will add protective features for concerned parents. While AOL users more than 15 years old will have the freedom to do as they please with their journals, those wanting to read the blogs of members younger than 15 will require that bloggers parental consent.

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

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