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America Online (AOL)

Definition - What does America Online (AOL) mean?

America Online is a digital media company that has developed and maintains multiple online businesses including websites, a search engine, Internet connectivity, email service and more.

It is an American firm which was first founded in 1983 as Control Video Corporation, followed by Quantum Computer Services in 1985 and became America Online in 1991. America Online was officially renamed AOL in 2009.

Techopedia explains America Online (AOL)

America Online initially started as an online service for downloading content for Atari gaming consoles (as Control Video Corporation). However, they quickly grew their user base by creating and marketing products for average home users rather than the tech professionals. This was largely dominated by their Internet-based solutions for home users, including Internet connectivity, email and communication. America Online's key products and services include:

  • Content — This includes a series of informational, news and blogging websites including Huffington Post, Tech Crunch, Engagdet, Cambo and more.
  • Advertising — A number of businesses that deal in online advertising platforms and services on the America Online-owned companies. Advertising.com, ADTECH, 5 min media are some the companies in their advertising services portfolio.
  • Internet services — This includes dial-up Internet services, AOL Mail and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).

America Online was one of the most prominent Internet service providers in the 1990s and early 2000s due to the proliferation of their free-trial discs and the company's tendency to extend their free trials for lengthy amounts of time.

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