Once the black sheep of the Internet, AOL is making a comeback.

After five years, the company has released a much-needed overhaul of its existing email service. The revamp, which features a new interface, puts it on the same level as other webmail services, such as Gmail.

“Mail drives a lot of usage of other products on AOL already, it keeps people coming to AOL.com and drives traffic to other sites,” said David Temkin, SVP of mobile and mail at AOL.

The new AOL Mail features several cosmetic tweaks, such as customizable backgrounds and themes, updated web fonts, and a variety of mini-apps — something that Gmail already offers — which provide easier access to contacts, calendars, and messaging services.

AOL has also cleaned out its database of dead addresses, significantly increasing the amount of available names — something which could attract individuals looking for vanity addresses.

Additionally, ads have been moved and resized, putting the focus on your inbox with fewer interruptions and intrusions. Less clutter should help boost productivity and increase the efficiency of email management.

Currently AOL is the number four service after Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft mail. It’s possible that this reboot could help boost its popularity among professionals, although it’s rather unlikely. However, the updates should help to create a better experience for those of you already using the service.

[Via: CNET, Image credit: Paul Downey]