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Showing posts from November, 2010

You've got mail! How Facebook can avoid becoming the Next AOL

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This post was also published in VentureBeat.What’s the difference between Facebook and the AOL of old? On Monday, Facebook is expected to announce that they are adding true email functionality, and users will be able to send emails to @facebook.com addresses, as well as use software clients like Outlook and Thunderbird to read and send emails. With the introduction of email, Facebook has now completely replicated the features of AOL’s 1990s-era desktop client. Both offer messaging, profiles, profile names, chat, pictures, groups, games, and news, and thrived on the simple promise of connecting you with your friends.


So, Just How Similar are They?

AOL, the fabled “walled garden” of mediocrity, was hugely popular before the broad popularity of the wild, unkempt Internet intervened. AOL offered everything a user could want in a nice, consistent interface, and @aol.com email accounts persist to this day. Facebook has long offered simple messaging between users on its website, and has become…