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AOL’s CEO on moving beyond real-time


June 13, 2013

As Tim Armstrong sees it, “Technology changes a lot but human behavior doesn’t. There’s one thing that we’re really betting on, and it’s humans. We scan for info from the best sources.”

The inaugural Media Minds discussion, a series on how social media is changing business took place this morning in Manhattan. Alex Jones, director of Harvard’s Shorestein Center, moderated a conversation with AOL Chairman and CEO Armstrong and AOL Brand Group CEO Susan Lyne.

Armstrong said that the desire for faster information from more trusted sources is becoming more important to people and that the Internet has significantly disrupted the role of the middleman in the marketplace.
 
“We’re moving beyond real-time,” Armstrong said. “You must be the best in the world at understanding individual impressions in real-time,” he said. “If you only worry about what’s hot and not serving what people want, you won’t be successful.”
 
Armstrong said to invest from a brand standpoint and go with what people already love, as brands are difficult to build. AOL wants to be the best company for delivering value and what people want when they want it, he said.

“The tradeoff or challenge is having personalized information be a benefit or a negative,” Armstrong said of the Internet in today’s society. “Essentially everything revolves around trust, and we try to be incredibly careful.” — Amy Jacques



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