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5/16/2006
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AOL Quietly Unveils YouTube Competitor

The service, which will officially launch in late June or early July, allows users to upload videos up to five minutes long that can be viewed by anyone on the Internet.

AOL Inc. quietly rolled out a video social networking community on Monday.

The site called AOL UnCut, which has thousands of beta users, will officially launch "end of June or beginning of July," the company said.

AOL has already set down the rules. No one under 18 years of age can use the service. Users must have an AOL or AIM screen name, and must agree to the company's terms of service. Membership will allow users to upload videos up to five minutes in length to let anyone across the Web view them. The videos are converted to Flash 8 format, similar to those posted to YouTube Inc.

LiveWorld, which builds and operates online communities, will monitor AOL's site for piracy to remove illegal and offensive postings.

AOL will offer mobile device uploads to the site from camcorders and digital cameras with help from VideoEgg's video publishing technology.

UnCut will launch as part of AOL's larger video offering that includes In2TV, a joint venture with Warner Bros. introduced in March that allows users to stream full episodes of classic television shows.

AOL also will add tagging; integration for social networking AIM pages based on the AIM buddy list; and AOL Journals, the company's blogging tool. AOL will offer a video module users can add to the AIM page. Videos are searchable, rated, commented and shareable.

AOL could offer video editing tools in the future, said a company source who asked not to be identified.

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