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about.me goes independent

Will no longer be part of AOL
Tools

about.me, which offers a simple way to create a one page biography about yourself, was sold to AOL just months after launching in 2010. This week, it announced it was once again an independent company.

In an email to users from co-founders Ryan Freitas and Tony Conrad, about.me announced that it is spinning out from AOL, and that moving forward it would be backed by its management team and a group of investors that includes WordPress and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).

It's an unusual move to say the least, to see a small company, bought so soon after launching, now pulling away from its corporate parent.

about.me has some social aspects, but its strength is giving users the ability to build a quick online biography. You can see mine here. I've included links to the different sites I write for and to my social networks. I was able to design the page with a few clicks in the gallery.

It's not nearly as sophisticated or as social as LinkedIn, but the beauty of the site is its simplicity and it provides the ability for anyone to build a decent looking original page in minutes. And, you can share it on Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) or Twitter. It even prompted me to make it my linked page on Twitter, for instance, and it changed it for me automatically. You can also embed it in a WordPress blog.

The email is vague about future plans, but the company sounds like it intends to be around for some time and has plans to update the product with new features users have requested in community forums. The letter also linked to updated terms of service and an updated privacy policy. The information provided on about.me is pretty basic though, and for someone like me, widely available, so that's not a huge issue.

about.me was able to grow and develop with the help of AOL resources and now it can operate independently, a somewhat backwards course taken by most startups.

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