AOL Lifestream helps users bring together all of their popular social networking profiles and content into one place. The application displays all feeds across the user’s social network profiles. Responding and commenting capabilities are included so the user can participate in each discussion without leaving AOL Lifestream. Built in search tools enable the user to save time by searching for content or users across all networks at a time. Mobile access is also available. The application works with Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr, YouTube, Delicious, AOL and other networks. Each discussion entry is presented with the icon for the network it was posted on, when it was posted and the poster’s avatar image and name. Users can follow places as well as people and update their personal status from anywhere when using a Mac, PC, iPhone or Android mobile device.
AOL Lifestream was designed to make life easier for anyone who manages multiple social networking profiles. This is a great thing, although the application met some difficulties early on. Users found that “real time” wasn’t really real because updates could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. That’s a lot of downtime for a busy discussion or large, active friends list. The newest version has improved upon these previous issues and assisted with crashing errors that were also discouraging some users.
AOL Lifestream offers a convenient service, although it is not one that is entirely new or unique. The application is most appealing to those who handle many social networking profiles across numerous popular networking websites. The most appealing aspect is the list of sites AOL Lifestream is compatible with. Just about every major network option is covered, from Facebook to YouTube. Users can condense all of their friends lists and social feeds into one easy-to-use profile.
AOL Lifestream has a very clean look, despite the handful of advertisements found on the page. Random ads appear to the sides and seem to be rather unrelated to social networking or the user’s interests (including everything from childhood ADHD treatment to rice). The user’s social feeds appear along the left hand side complete with all content and the poster’s name and image. The status entry field is nice and big so it is hard to miss. The light green highlights give AOL Lifestream a refreshing appearance that allows the user to navigate easily without feeling crowded.
All users can create an AOL Lifestream account for free. This is definitely a good thing because the application is used to manage free social networking profiles. It would be difficult to convince internet users to pay for this type of service. Advertisements appear on the page as well and help to cover the cost of site upkeep. The price is right where it should be for the tools and features included with AOL Lifestream.
Lifestream.aol.com is ideal for anyone who maintains many social networking profiles. Individuals with only one or two profiles may not find as much utility in setting up a third account just to manage two or less. The application is also appealing for users who have very busy social feeds. AOL Lifestream presents the user with all updates in one place so the user can explore everything without logging in and out of various networking websites.