Posted in: Technology

The new Propeller, what were they thinking?

propeller

A new version of Propeller went live earlier today, complete with radical overhaul that included dropping Digg style voting and a look that screams news magazine.

I hate it, and many others will as well, however I know I’m not the target market. The market is the broader, mainstream non-tech market that Yahoo Buzz attracts, a market that is far more lucrative than the tech space alone.

Having said that, I don’t get the reason to change. Every metric I could find shows Propeller growing to this point, and a couple of months back it even passed Reddit to become the number two player in this space. Another bizarre move from a company (AOL) that never seems to keep to the same plan for longer than 6-12 months at a time? or have they done their homework and want to emulate Yahoo Buzz? Despite attempts to become more tech/ 2.0 savvy, AOL has always been a mainstream brand with a mainstream audience, so playing to this is playing to a strength.

The success or otherwise of the change will only be shown with time, so I’ll follow up the metrics in a month or so. My guess is they’ll lose a reasonable chunk of their userbase, the only question then becoming is will the mainstream audience they are targeting flock to it in large enough numbers to replace the lost members.

Propeller

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