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FaceTime First to License AIM for Customer Support

America Online Inc. Monday agreed to put its Instant Messaging service to work as a customer service support tool for e-commerce applications.

AOL (AOL) Monday agreed to license their AIM application to FaceTime Communications. The e-commerce solution provider plans to integrate AIM access into real-time customer support for e-business partners.

FaceTime is the first e-commerce solutions provider to license the AIM Network to work for online businesses.

With AIM services integrated into e-commerce applications, FaceTime clients' web sites will have the ability to communicate instantly with the AIM network consisting of more than 43 million consumers.

David Hsieh, FaceTime cofounder, said using the AIM network would enhance the company's ability to assist e-business clients before, during and after online sales.

"We believe this agreement will lead to remarkable improvements in the way e-businesses and consumers interact, Hsieh said. "AOL's Instant Messenger network will give millions of consumers a familiar, convenient way to communicate with e-businesses."

With AOL agreement in effect, FaceTime clients may develop their own screen names so AIM users can post them on their buddy lists. The network provides one click access to customer service representatives for AIM users favorite e-commerce sites.

David Gang, AOL senior vice president of strategic development, said AIM services applied to the online sales process would change the way millions of AOL members utilize e-commerce sites.

"We believe this agreement will enable AIM to impact online customer communications in much the same way it has changed the way people interact with friends, family and business colleagues," Gang said. "While offering businesses an effective way to help grow a loyal customer base from the millions of AOL members and AIM users."