AOL Sheds AOL Latino Brand; Launches ‘HuffPost Voces’

By Laura Martinez (Portada-Online.com)

AOL Latino, the Spanish-language spin off launched by AOL Corp. in 2003, will cease to exist May 1st as a standalone brand, as it has migrated to the Huffington Post as a new vertical, Huffpost Voces. Miguel Ferrer, Managing Editor of HuffPost Latino Voices, assumes the additional title of Managing Editor of Huffpost Voces.
(Visitors of the Aollatino.com site are greeted today with a large banner saying “Nos estamos mudando el 1 de Mayo: Huffpost Voces” – “We are moving on May 1st Huffpost Voces”).

“The idea is to leverage the strength of the Huffington Post brand, and put everything under one engaging platform, building community on both sides,” says Derek J. Murphy, General Manager, Multicultural of Huffington Post Media Group. “In addition to building a stronger community, we will be able to offer advertisers a wider range of media and marketing services through the Huffington Post Media Group’s network of sites.”

The change is effective May 1st. Users who log in towww.AOLLatino.com will be automatically redirected to Huffpostvoces.com, which will act as a new vertical of the Huffington Post. The content will remain entirely in Spanish and will feature sections including news, technology, sports and entertainment. The new site will also feed from relevant content originating in other areas of the Huffington Post, especially HuffPost Latino Voices, the English-language online community that launched in August and that has reported steady growth.

Citing recent Comscore figures, Murphy says HuffPost Latino Voices reached 1.8 million unique visitors in March, though in previous months had reached a peak of up to 2.5 million unique visitors. The site has logged more than 35,000 comments each month, and social news users (visitors from their social media accounts) spend over 20 minutes per visit.

AOL Latino advertisers have been notified of the changes. In fact, several outstanding campaigns have already migrated to the new site, including campaigns by Procter & Gamble and RIM’s BlackBerry.

Editorially, the team at AOL Latino is expected to remain in place with some new hires recently added, including a full-time editor in Los Angeles. Speaking toPortada from Mexico City, where he helped a local AOL Latino team transition to the new system, Miguel Ferrer pointed out that ‘Voces’ is by no means a Spanish-language version of the Huffington Post, nor a translation of ‘Latino Voices.’

“[Voces] is an addition; it is a totally different site that will help nurture content across the HuffPost platforms,” says Ferrer, who adds that his team will continue to produce news-worthy content that will be easy to share, comment, and interact with.

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