AOL Charging For IM Skins

from the yeah,-nice-try dept

In AOL’s increasingly desperate attempt to figure out new ways to make money, they’re now trying to charge people to put “skins” on their AIM client, changing how the software looks. I’m not exactly sure what sort of person is willing to spend money to change the look and feel of free software they use on their own desktop machine, which not many others are likely to see. This is, clearly, part of a piecemeal “what can we charge for?” strategy coming out of AOL. Someone problem got the “great idea” after realizing that many people (usually younger people) buy different faceplates for their mobile phones. Of course, the difference there is that your mobile phone is a fashion accessory that people see you with (at least, for kids, it appears that way). Paying to change your free IM application’s look and feel isn’t the same sort of thing. Even worse, most of the “skins” AOL is trying to offer are really advertisements for other AOL-Time Warner properties.

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