AOL is a major internet-access subscription service company in the United States. It was formerly known as America Online, and it provides a wide range of web services for its customers. Headquartered in New York City, AOL is one of the first companies to play a role in making the world a global village through instant messaging and buddy list services that transmit billions of messages every day. AOL was founded in 1989 in Dulles, Virginia, as an exclusive service to only users of Apple’s Macintosh and Apple II machines. In 1993, the company expanded its services to accommodate personal computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
Throughout the 1990s, America Online gained popularity throughout the United States as it became the most preferred internet service provider. In 2000, there was a merger between Time Warner Inc. and AOL, a deal which eventually didn’t bode well for either party. On April 3, 2006, America Online became AOL officially, and in December 2009, it began to carry out its operations as an independent company. Some of AOL’s services include email, which was aided by the service’s popular “You’ve Got Mail” alert, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) software, AOL video, news, video search, sports, stock quotes, MapQuest, and stock quotes.
AOL is also a major marketer of IN2TV that delivers classic television shows to subscribers over the internet at no extra cost. It also operates TMZ.com, a leading entertainment and celebrity news platform it developed during the partnership with Warner Brothers. AOL’s primary source of revenue comes from running one of the largest internet subscription and broadband services to millions of customers worldwide. It also has a thriving advertising program that contributes substantially to its annual income, and this advertising program is one of the most successful of its kind. Advertising.com, the main program, is one of the largest third-party online advert placement platforms in the United States.
Beyond providing internet services, broadband services, and advertising services, AOL made sure to plug itself into more content creation spaces. In March 2011, it purchased the website The Huffington Post for $135 million. The acquisition gave birth to The Huffington Post Media Group, which had Arianna Huffington as the president and editor in chief. This new media venture housed all the media properties belonging to AOL and The Huffington Post. By 2015, Verizon Communications bought AOL for $4.4 billion and took the company forward through innovative decisions and developments.
In April 2019, Verizon customers became the first internet users to have 5G network connectivity in their hands. Today, AOL has a global coverage that spans countries like Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Austria, Australia, India, Japan, Canada, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Despite its focus on running a successful business over the years, AOL has engaged in many philanthropic initiatives before and after it was acquired. In November 2018, Verizon embarked on a project with the City of Boston to make Boston, New York, a highly technologically advanced city in the country. This move will also advance Verizon’s fiber-optic network throughout the city geared toward achieving a smart community.