AOL Ventures Is Killing Truveo

Ever since AOL moved its video search engine Truveo into AOL Ventures in early summer, traffic to the service has tanked.

Check out the graph above — it looks like somebody pulled the plug on a life-support machine.¬†

AOL Ventures is where AOL puts companies — like Bebo — it has given up on and now wants to sell. So this makes some sense. Maybe the service has ceased to get favourable links from the firehose. Maybe AOL stopped buying Truveo traffic.

Still, we know of at least one AOL executive who will be disappointed to see Truveo’s downfall — CEO Tim Armstrong. Back in July we learned he was one of the few AOL executives¬† who believed the company could still make Truveo work.

NYT: Mr. Armstrong’s five-point plan was also determined by a collaborative process in a two-day meeting in New York. The top 100 employees sorted through three dozen current and potential business lines for the company.

Mr. Armstrong asked simply, “What can we win?” Among the hot debates were what AOL’s role should be in social networking and in search.

Eventually, the assembled employees voted on their top five ideas. Separately, Mr. Armstrong wrote his top five on a blackboard, turning it so the audience could see it only after the vote. The only difference: Mr. Armstrong wanted to include AOL’s Truveo video search company in the top priorities. But he deferred to the group and assigned Truveo instead to a new unit called AOL Ventures, where he is putting noncore businesses, like the Bebo social network, that might eventually be sold.

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