AOL, originally known as America Online, is an American web portal and online service provider. At one point, AOL grew to become the largest online service provider and one of the early pioneers of the Internet in the mid-1990s. It originally provided a dial-up service to millions, as well as email, instant messaging, a web portal, and a web browser. But what happened to AOL? Is it still around and do dial-up subscribers to the service still exist today?
The Original AOL
In the early days of the internet, AOL was extremely popular. The service had millions of subscribers to its dial-up internet service and also serving as a sort of web portal or directory that directed customers to its other sites and services. For quite some time, the business model was successful and seemingly flawless. This was until the year 2000 when AOL bought TimeWarner.
AOL Purchased TimeWarner
AOL’s purchase of TimeWarner (a $164 billion transaction) made the company one of the largest in the world. Soon after that purchase, however, dialup gave way to broadband and AOL’s “walled garden” model was then replaced by an open web.
To those who wonder, “Is AOL down?” The answer is it is not. AOL is still alive and technically still making most of its money from subscribers to the various services it offers. These days, those services include broadband. AOL’s true value is not in its subscriber base, though. The company has taken money from its old business and reinvested it into a new one, which is based on digital video advertising. In this area, AOL has truly been dominating.
AOL People Connection
Even though most of AOL’s money is not coming from subscriptions, the company still offers AOL chat rooms and AOL games to its users. AOL People Connection is the primary home to dozens of chat rooms that are grouped into primary categories. One category includes chat rooms created by AOL, while the other category includes chat rooms created by members. Chats in both of these categories focus on a specific topic. These topics include health, arts, entertainment, hobbies, food, pets, politics, travel, sports, and more. Chat rooms that are created by members can either be private or public.
How to Participate in Chat Rooms
To participate in AOL chat rooms there are requirements to fulfill. You must download the appropriate AOL software for your computer and sign up for a screen name. Both the software and account are free and you don’t have to subscribe to AOL dial-up or broadband Internet service to access the chat rooms.
There is a comprehensive list of guidelines for users to follow to ensure the experience remains safe for everyone. A user must agree to follow these policies when creating a screen name. The guidelines cover appropriate language, various types of illegal activities, and the distribution of content.
Connecting with Other Members
Whether you aim to find others who share similar interests, chat with friends, or meet new people to play your favorite games with, AOL has a wide variety of chat rooms that provide the ability to connect with other AOL members.
So is AOL down?
For those who may wonder “Is AOL down?” or “Is AOL still around?” the answer is a clear YES. AOL is still very much around. There are still subscribers to its dial-up service as well as many additional members who use AOL broadband, chat rooms, games and more. And, in the digital advertising world, AOL has gradually become one of the most powerful players.