AOL gets a new CEO and hopefully gets stronger

AOL yesterday appointed ex Googler Tim Armstrong as CEO and Chairman – read all about it on Boomtown.

Two interesting things emerge from this.  Firstly it increases the likelihood of a spin-out from Time Warner which I see as a good thing in that AOL with either swim or sink more quickly on its own.

Secondly Tim outlines a strategy of focusing in three areas:

  • People networks (social networking and communications)
  • Content
  • Advertising (Platform-A)

I like this for the clear distinction between social media and content, businesses which are often confused but are actually quite distinct.  I think the reasons for this confusion are that one of the applications of social networking is content discovery and that user generated content sites have sometimes had social network features (e.g. friends lists on YouTube), but as social media is maturing as a category the lines of demarcation are getting clearer.

I say good luck to Tim.  We will all be better off if AOL regains its position as a strong player in the market.