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AOL chat rooms: a history

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AOL's chief architect and most-senior employee Joe Schober talked to Time Techland about his history working on AOL chat rooms, starting in 1988 with AppleLink's "Samuel" beta test.

AOL AIM Logo
AOL AIM Logo

AOL's chief architect and longest-employed staffer Joe Schober talked to Time about his history working on AOL chat rooms, starting in 1988 with AppleLink's "Samuel" beta test. These early chat rooms were incredibly small, taking just 23 people to completely fill. The article discusses the evolution of AOL's chat services, including the glory days of the late 90s when the company had about 17 million subscribers and chat rooms were thriving. Eventually the use of chat rooms declined with the rise of popular social networks, until AOL announced their demise in 2010. However, Schober doesn't think the chat room is dead — check out the full article to find out why.