AOL Canada relaunches its homepage

The new face of AOL Canada is being pegged as a one-stop homebase for emails, social networks and third party content integration. It comes with larger ad placement and site takeover options too.

AOL Canada is launching its new homepage today and Pepsi is supporting the move with a full-page takeover that promotes its ‘Project Breathtaking’ campaign, with the media buy handled by OMD. The redesigned page, from which multiple email accounts and social networking sites are now accessible, is now also open to third-party content and services. Recent partnerships in that vein include Spinner Canada‘s AOL Music blog with banner sponsorships from Budweiser, and women’s lifestyle site That’s Fit.

AOL Canada’s homepage, according to ComScore’s May 2009 data, receives 226,000 unique visitors a month. It’s now also open to new advertising opportunities such as more homepage takeovers, which include full ownership of the site’s new 300×600 and 408×80 ad placements. A similar redesign in the US last September, though without third-party content initiatives, has since raised unique visitors by 23%, page views by 34% and total minutes consumed by 61% according to year-over-year data from ComScore in May.

Aside from their AOL AIM and AOL Mail accounts, users will also have access to their Google, Hotmail and Yahoo! mail and can post status updates, view profile activity and receive mail notifications from social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Bebo and others.

The strategy behind the redesign was to provide visitors with a customizable page where they can access info from multiple sites and, by extension, improve user engagement, according to James Prudhomme, senior director at Platform-A, AOL’s ad network. ‘The audience right now is getting highly fragmented,’ he tells MiC. ‘Before launching this page, users had to go to multiple areas to get this content.’