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AOL Acquires Video-Search Company Truveo

America Online Inc. on Tuesday said it has bought video-search company Truveo Inc., a move that AOL believes will expand its ability to find video on the Web.

Financial details were not released, but AOL said it acquired the privately held Burlingame, Calif., company Dec. 21. Truveo, co-founded by chief executive Tim Tuttle and chief technologist Adam Beguelin two years ago, launched its service in September 2005.

AOL, a Dulles, Va., unit of Time Warner Inc., has made online video a key focus of its free Web portal. The company launched the portal last year to enter the booming online advertising market to counter the declining number of dial-up subscribers to its paid service.

Truveo uses proprietary Web crawling technology that it calls "visual crawling." The technology goes beyond traditional means of video search by examining the context of the surrounding Web application, which often reveals detailed metadata about the video, the company said. Other search engines are not as effective, because they examine only closed-caption transcripts and import RSS feeds to deliver results to user queries.

AOL plans to use Truveo technology to enhance its own Web search capabilities. The company first entered the video search arena in November 2003 with the purchase of Seattle-based Singingfish. AOL launched video search on its free portal in June 2005.

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