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When America First Got Online

Life has changed significantly over the last few decades. Things are completely different from how they used to be. The late 20th century was the time of great inventions. New companies were being introduced and they were launching one thing after the next. It was a time when everything new was popping up.

AOL or America Online used to be one of the most popular online services back in the day. Starting out in 1985, it is an internet pioneer. It used to offer a variety of internet services back in the 90s such as instant messaging, email, and dial-up internet access. Verizon purchased AOL in 2015. Now, it has become a mass media corporation.


The company was a true mastermind. It introduced technology that had not been seen before. Most people think about the AOL messenger when they talk about the service. It introduced the idea of instant messaging to help connect people. In its initial days, AOL focused on video game development. Then, it moved focus to online services. The technology provided by AOL allowed for marketing and communication to flourish. It paved the way for MSN and Yahoo Messenger. More and more companies realized just how successful the ideas introduced by AOL were and started to launch their own services to compete with the giant.

AOL continued to invest in technology and managed to go its own way. It did not copy any company and continued to launch one major service to the next. It never stopped trying to take things to the next level.


Created in 1983 as CVC (Control Video Corporation), AOL quickly renamed itself and moved from game development to online services. William Von Meister was the founder of the company. The Game Line was the first online service launched by the company. It was made for the Atari 2600 which was the most popular video game console at that time. Game Line allowed subscribers to download games temporarily and track their scores.

It was only two years later in 1985 when the company changed its strategy to focus on online services. It created the Quantum Link software that licensed different software. The services were unique from most online services at that time.

Since the beginning, AOL tried to diversify itself by launching a mix of products. Its casual and classic games were loved by all. AOL tried to up its game by investing in innovative online games.


Ever since Time Warner acquired AOL, the company has failed to find a way and experienced a rapid decline. Despite being the largest merger, AOL could not continue to keep up. However, the main reason why it struggled is because of the shift to broadband. It led to the company being unable to find a target audience. As its customer base continued to shrink, running the company became unsustainable. Hence, it had to be wrapped up. Thus, AOL as we now it is not used today and the new generation does not even know anything about the once-giant. But we here at MR Cooper Design have fond memories of our experiences with AOL. What were some of yours?


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