AOL seems to have a knack for doing exactly the wrong thing for its users, from ignoring the rise of broadband, to building up walled gardens just as the rest of the internet was embracing a more open internet. The latest is that they're pissing off a bunch of long term paying customers by suddenly inserting advertisements right below emails. Obviously, there are plenty of email services that are ad-supported, but this is for paying AOL customers, who for years have been able to read email without ads getting in the way. And, of course, these aren't just any ads, but (of course) intrusive ads that users complain are distracting. Considering that plenty of people seem to have kept their AOL subscriptions going for many years just to keep their email address, pissing off a bunch of those people doesn't seem like the smartest strategic move.
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