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AOL Service Targets Hispanic Web Surfers Google Launches Google News Site In Spanish
AOL Service Targets Hispanic Web Surfers
By Anick Jesdanun
October 1, 2003
NEW YORK · Tienes e-mail. You've got mail.
American Online is launching a service today for the burgeoning number of U.S. households where Spanish is the main or only language spoken.
The AOL Latino service is wholly in Spanish, from the familiar "You've got mail" greeting to the instructions on the installation CDs.
The U.S. Hispanic population has grown over the past two years at almost four times the rate of the overall population, and Hispanics are now the country's largest minority group.
Yahoo! Inc. already has a "Yahoo! En Espanol" site with news, maps and even greeting cards in Spanish, while Microsoft's MSN has acquired the Spanish-language Yupi portal. Both companies also offer instant-messaging software and Web-based e-mail in Spanish.
But AOL's service goes further, offering a complete package -- including software to connect, send e-mail and browse the Web in Spanish and a toll-free number for Spanish-language customer support.
"The Internet experience today is very much in English," said Charlene Li, an analyst at Forrester Research. "If you are a predominantly Spanish speaker, AOL Latino really serves that market."
AOL Latino service will cost the same as regular AOL service: $23.90 a month for unlimited use.
According to a Commerce Department study last year, only 14 percent of Hispanics in Spanish-only households were online, compared with 38 percent of Hispanics in bilingual and English-dominant households.
AOL already has about 2.3 million Hispanic subscribers in the United States, but they tend to be English speakers.
"Now it's time for the second phase," said David Wellisch, general manager for AOL Latino. "Language has acted as a barrier that we are now ready to resolve."
The Commerce study shows Hispanics still trailing whites and Asians in the percentage of those who are online, though their growth rate is higher.
"We're still in kind of the first phase of this mad-dash land grab for the Latino audience and their purchasing power," said Juliana Deeks, an analyst with Jupiter Research.
Recognizing that not all Hispanics are alike -- that those from Puerto Rico, Mexico and Bolivia, for example, can vary widely in their interests -- AOL is teaming up with about 20 U.S. providers of Hispanic content and linking to major Latin American newspapers. It is also getting original content from such subsidiaries as AOL Argentina and from free-lancers.
Wellisch said AOL Latino has more than a dozen but fewer than 100 employees. He would not be more specific, other than to say a few are located in Miami, San Jose, Calif., and other cities with large Hispanic populations.
Google Launches Google News Site In Spanish
October 1, 2003
The Internet search engine Google launched on September 30, 2003 a Spanish language version of its Google News site.
The Web new site, news.google.es, contains links to more than seven hundred online news portals from Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru and Argentina, published in the previous 30 days, the company said. The news is organised in several sections, International, Spain, Economy, Technology, Sports, Entertainment and Health, by using advanced technologies for search, analysis and grouping of the news items found on the Internet.
Google also applies its search engines to track the most important news from the different sources, which appear automatically on the website and are continuously updated. The news tracked in different sources is then grouped by subject by the search engine.