AOL to open up shop in Second Life

AOL has plans to establish a presence in Second Life to promote its services and content

AOL is getting ready to set up an area in Second Life, another in a string of big-name companies establishing a presence in this popular 3D virtual world.

The company's Second Life section will be called AOL Pointe. AOL is accepting applications now for the Pointe test program at the company's beta site site.

With this, AOL will dip its toes in the virtual world space, which is generating a lot of buzz lately thanks to popular services like Linden Research's Second Life and Cyworld's Cyworld.

AOL Pointe will feature different sections, like an amphitheater and an extreme sports park, in which the company plans to highlight AOL content and services like AOL Music, Moviefone, TMZ and Lat34.com, an AOL spokeswoman said. AOL will use Pointe to also try out new features and research how they are received by users. The beta test will take place within Second Life and is slated to start in the next week or so, she said.

Second Life combines features from social networks, multiplayer online games and e-tailers, and lets people adopt new personas called avatars in its 3D world, where they can interact with others for entertainment and business purposes.

Millions of dollars exchange hands every week in member-to-member commerce in Second Life. Companies are setting up shop in Second Life to sell and promote their services, including IBM, Dell, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and American Apparel.

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