AOL has launched version 3.0 of its online service, and passed 100,000 UK subscribers. The company now has over 300,000 European subscribers, of which 200,000 are in Germany and 25,000 are in France. "I think after 12 months this is pretty good in this industry," said Jonathan Bulkeley, UK managing director. Separately, AOL announced content partnerships with The Economist, Thomas Cook, Nickelodeon and the Parents Information Network.
New features of AOL 3.0 include a 'buddy list' indicating which members are online at any time, better control over e-mail look and feel, and chat rooms which can run alongside any Web site. Bulkeley said AOL can generate up to 50 million messages a day through such features: "This is so far from what anyone else is doing at the moment that it's mind-boggling."
Referring to the disaster of flat rate pricing in the US, Bulkeley said: "If we introduce flat rate pricing [in the UK], we have to be sure the level of service today is as good as it was last week."