Now AOL Thinks People Will Pay Extra For Video Calling?

from the video-calling? dept

What is it about video calling that makes people forget history? The idea of videophones and video calling has been around for over forty years, and it seems like in every one of those forty years some company thinks it’s suddenly got this great new idea for video calling. Sure, the technology has gotten better over the time, thanks to the internet and webcams, but companies always seem to overestimate just how much people value video calling. The latest will be AOL, who thinks that the way to monetize some of their instant messaging traffic is to convince people to pay extra for “enhanced instant messaging service” using video. Why would they do that when they can just use video for free via other software?

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Comments on “Now AOL Thinks People Will Pay Extra For Video Calling?”

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Nate says:

AT&T's sole reason for existence

I used to joke that the sole reason for AT&T’s existence was to invent and popularize the video phone. For decades that was their driving force. They demonstrated it every chance they got: World’s Fairs, movies, magazine advertisements. Sadly, now that anyone can assemble a video phone from a spare cam and an IM app, nobody cares. AT&T died.

Jeff says:

AOL is desperate

AOL is not an innovative company or the sharpest tool in the shed … heck, it’s taken then how many years to finally realize that the Internet does have a few profitable models that they too could capitalize on without impacting their dial-up business (see AIM Webmail and articles).

However, the ol’ saying “better late than never” may not apply for AOL – another one comes to mind “the early bird gets the worm.”

Since Yahoo!, Google, MSN are the early birds AOL is left holding the dial-up subscribers bag (btw, AOL subscribers are not dumb, they are just on dial-up. err, I guess some would say they are dumb for still being on dial-up.) – anyway, that dial-up subscriber bag has a huge hole in it so AOL is desperately looking for anything to patch up that hole while Yahoo!, Google, MSN continue to eat way at their fast growing ex-subscriber base on all other (valued) fronts – IM, Mail, Search, Ads, Social Networking, etc.

thecaptain says:

Re: AOL is desperate

No, AOL subscribers are NOT “dumb for still being on dial-up” they are dumb for being on AOL.

AOL offers very little the internet at large does not offer you for free.

AOL fools most of their users into thinking their information and security is safe from the big bad “intarweb”

AOL fools their users into think their kids are safe from the plague of pedophiles out there when frankly most kids I know can circumvent those parental controls easily.

Dialups are still out there and most way cheaper and with better support than AOL. They just don’t ask you to turn off you mind and install crappy AOL software…you actually have to think a minute and learn something.

//I’m still bitter about AOL’s murder of USENET hehe…those were real AOLosers.

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