AOL reduces services to cut costs

AOL is shutting three data storage services, including one of the internet's earliest photo sharing sites, as it seeks to cut costs and focus resources on its advertising opportunities, an Associated Press report said.

AOL Pictures, the year-old media-sharing site BlueString and the online backup service Xdrive will likely shut down by year's end, though the company is looking to sell at least Xdrive, which AOL bought in 2005 for an undisclosed fee, the report said.

Company officials denied speculation that the closures were meant to prime AOL for a sale.

AOL parent Time Warner has been in continual discussions with both Yahoo and Microsoft though the talks have been preliminary.

'The decision to sunset these products is 100% part of a strategy that began last year to focus on the areas where we can win and to move away from products or features that are not contributing to our growth,' AOL spokeswoman Trish Primrose, quoted by the Associated Press report, said.

AOL began taking a hard look at its portfolio following a 2006 decision to fully shift the company into an advertising business and pare down its legacy internet access services.