The following is a true story: One day, two Consumerist staffers were chatting about the work day. One said, “I can’t believe I’m writing about the legal ramifications of butt-dialing.” The other replied, “We should probably remember this conversation for a year-end story about things we didn’t expect to ever write in 2015.” A calendar alert was made, and our future selves were duly reminded. [More]
It’s not often you hear about a shotgun wedding between two tech companies, but that’s apparently what happened for Verizon and AOL, as the recently betrothed said today that they had officially completed a $4.4 billion acquisition proposed just a month ago. [More]
Every day, the great amorphous mass of consumers creates millions upon millions of trackable, quantifiable pieces of data. Every purchase at every store. Every click on every website, every bit of geotagged data, every installed or opened app and every interaction on social media. All of it adds up together into one giant Mount Everest of data to be sliced, diced, bought, sold, and traded.
Old tech and new tech are coming together in a massive $4.4 billion deal, with mobile service powerhouse Verizon Communications buying the brand of the ’90s AOL — a deal that gives the country’s largest mobile phone operator a stronger foothold in the race to create ad-content that targets customers as they move from desktops to mobile devices. [More]
Every so often, we like to check in with AOL, our ’90s onramp to the information superhighway that somehow still exists and has been working to remake itself as a media company. While sites like the Huffington Post and TechCrunch bring hundreds of millions of people to ad-supported stories and videos, AOL still makes tens of millions of dollars from their classic business model of collecting subscription fees for Internet access. [More]
Believe it or not, AOL still has more than 2 million paying customers who dial into the service to get Internet access. And for people whose online use is minimal, this may be the cheaper option — unless some glitch causes your modem to start dialing an international line, leaving you to rack up thousands of dollars in charges while your phone company pleads ignorance. [More]
News Sites Consider Moving Their Content Inside Facebook (Because That Worked So Well In The AOL Era)
There’s news in the world of news today, as some major sites are on the cusp of a new publishing deal with Facebook. The deal would actively keep their content inside of Facebook, rather than having links on everyone’s love-to-hate-it social network lead back out to other companies’ respective websites. But there is one specific lesson this deal highlights: even on the internet, you can’t escape the cycles of history. Somehow, everything old will be new again.
Long before Facebook and Twitter, well before even Friendster and MySpace, before the first dotcom bubble burst, in the eons before Google was a glint in anyone’s eye, there was the first web. In comparison to everything that’s come after it, you could call it Web 1.0 or perhaps even just “the dark ages.” But for anyone born before, say, 1990, this was the dawn of our now-ubiquitous digital world. But as the digital giants of yesteryear have been replaced by the now-ubiquitous Facebook and Google, how many are still in play now?
Amid reports yesterday indicating that Verizon Communications was toying with the idea of acquiring AOL or entering into some kind of joint venture, the company’s CEO is going on record as saying there’s nothing serious going on.
The first major marriage of two companies in 2015 may be taking shape just five days into the new year after reports surfaced Monday that Verizon Communications has approached AOL about a possible joint venture or acquisition. [More]
A few weeks ago, we all heard that Facebook — the site where your real name and offline social connections are meant to rule supreme — was planning to launch an app that supported anonymous use. Today, Facebook announced their new product for real… and it sounds an awful lot like a phone-focused version of the chat rooms and message boards AOL brought into our living rooms 20 years ago.
Decades ago, our ancestors would purchase or receive in the mail “magazines,” primitive information delivery devices printed on shiny paper. Most of these magazines featured advertisements for products and services. In 1994, an ad for Popular Mechanics promoted CompuServe, a service that you could dial into with your modem. One that connected you to news, sports, weather, shopping, information, and included sixty e-mail messages per month. Sixty! [More]
When you’re reporting your results to investors, it’s good to focus on the good news. For example, AOL is now taking in more money per subscriber each month: $20.86 compared to $20.03 at the same time last year. What’s that? Yes, of course AOL still has subscribers. [More]
For most of our readers, AOL is is a distant memory: you probably still have an Instant Messenger account around somewhere, and your favorite aunt uses it for e-mail. Oh, and you think that they might own some sites you visit sometimes, like Joystiq and TechCrunch. However, even as it works hard at becoming a content company, AOL still earns a lot of money from selling Internet service to people, including dialup. [More]
Did you sneer at the mysterious AOL breach that has compromised some customers’ information because you don’t use AOL e-mail anymore? Yeah, about that. Some former AOL users have reported that messages went out under their former IDs. Are spammers forging messages from defunct addresses, or have these AOL accounts gone zombie? [More]
AOL says that the company is investigating the recent torrent of junk mail that appeared to come from its customers, and unauthorized access to customers’ accounts by unknown baddies. While the good news is that customers’ payment information wasn’t breached, it’s still bad that their address books, passwords, answers to security questions, and their addresses may have been. [More]