(MORE: AOL’s Thoroughly Modern AIM) Then in the 2000s, the rise of DSL and cable modems made paying AOL a monthly fee for Internet access seem increasingly unnecessary.
Friendster launched in 2002, Myspace in 2003 and Facebook in 2004.
In the ’90s, I constantly interacted with people known to me only by their screen names; today, I only interact that way in comments sections and on Twitter, and only occasionally. I’m nostalgic for AOL chat rooms, but would I use them if the company brought them back? But that doesn’t mean some entrepreneur out there isn’t working on something that captures the same spirit, albeit without the same hegemony AOL enjoyed.Schober moved from beta tester to full-time employee in 1992, when the service — now officially called America Online — went public.The company was positioned perfectly for the onset of the Internet Age.Around 2000, however, I found myself drawn more to AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) than I did to AOL’s chat rooms.Launched in 1997, AIM became widespread once it was made available to non-subscribers in 1998.“The BBS world, it tended to be a one-line experience — you were the sole user of the service, you could send email, you could leave messages, but it wasn’t interactive in real-time in the same way.