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Facebook is the new AOL | The Verge

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Yes except that everyone is on Facebook. AOL only had a small percentage of the population.

Because 1995.

Yes! I like this line from cdixon:

A lot of the best tech startups are ideas that have been around for years but the time is finally right.

That's a truism for many startups, not just tech...

It's so difficult to get the timing right. 

Google is the new Microsoft; Qualcomm is the new Intel.

What's PandaWhale?

PandaWhale is a BBS!

Or do you mean what company?

We're an unholy stepchild of Reddit, Imgur, Pinterest, and Tumblr. 

No, I meant in as, "PandaWhale is the new _________ "

PandaWhale is the new Well.

Facebook is the new AOL

Just think about it for a minute. Of course Facebook is the new AOL. Facebook is the beginning and the end of the internet for a huge number of normal people, a combination of primary service provider (user profiles, messaging, photo sharing) and '90s-style portal to the wider web. Facebook has its own IM platform, Messenger, just like AOL had AOL Instant Messenger. Then it went and bought WhatsApp, the messaging platform more popular internationally, just like AOL bought ICQ. Facebook groups are just AOL chat rooms; Facebook's permanently doomed commerce plays are AOL's permanently doomed commerce plays. (AOL's ultimate doomed ecommerce play? The acquisition of Netscape.)

And Facebook's core business of selling ads into the News Feed is the same combination of incredibly vulnerable and apocalypse-proof as AOL's dial-up business: it will continue minting money for as long as the parents and grandparents of the world start their day with Facebook, and it will stop growing the second all of their kids move on to something better.

You can keep going: Facebook is now pitching itself to media companies as their savior, just as AOL once did. Most websites get a tremendous amount of traffic from Facebook; it's only a matter of time before Facebook starts aggressively charging for that traffic. And there's word that Facebook even wants media companies to start publishing directly onto Facebook's platform, ostensibly in the name of a better user experience — being kicked from the Facebook app to a browser or web view on mobile kind of sucks, after all. That's a play straight out of the AOL playbook; the only remaining move is for Facebook to up and buy a media company of its own, just like AOL spent the 90s building up to its disastrous January 2000 purchase of Time Warner.

You're laughing, but there's an old media company — probably a cable network scared to death of YouTube — looking at Jeff Bezos buying The Washington Postand thinking hard about how to sell itself to Facebook.

Facebook doesn't provide email accounts (or do they?) ... so not really like AOL, which was the most primary reason many people signed up to use them, at least initially... 

Facebook messaging has an email account associated with it. 

But very few people use the email interface. They use the Messenger app instead. 

Exactly my point... back in the day just getting an EMAIL was BIG BIG BIG and just having an email account was almost like carrying around the first mobile phone brick w carrying case... in public!  Then AOL started getting in the way of browsing the internet ... and being quasi-first kinda ran its course


Yeah, I think a lot of people would be happy if email went away.

I like email.  It's the only way to manage large groups of people or keep track of complex information.  Every communication method has its madness.

What about Slack?

Buzzfeed is the new Yahoo.

Buzzfeed, like Yahoo before it, is an enormous media destination with big technology aspirations. And like Yahoo and AOL, which have always been mirror images dancing in the night, Buzzfeed and Facebook are the push and pull of social media. Where AOL could never quite turn itself into a next-generation media company, Yahoo invested tons of money in platforms and products designed to compete with Google. But in the end, it still turned into a lumbering media giant.

Buzzfeed has the same dichotomous media company / tech company challenge as Yahoo: it's spending tons of money investing in its technology platform, but it's also building a big, talented news team. Buzzfeed content is ubiquitous the same way Yahoo was once ubiquitous. It's both a tech company and a media company, and Buzzfeed's overall value comes from the combination of the two in harmony: when Andreessen Horowitz's Chris Dixon announced the big investment in Buzzfeed, he characterized the company as a "full-stack startup."

And Apple is the new Sony.

Ephemeral messaging is the new email.

Wouldn't it be great if that were true.

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