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He’d chat about Nirvana, search for guitar tabs, trade shareware, and find opponents for . That year, AOL Instant Messenger launched, born out of the Buddy List feature in AOL.
Along with this product came the away message, buddy icons, a personal profile, and eventually voice chat, file transfer, and chat bots.
On Garden Chat, sometimes people still trade tips for gardening and cooking, messaging back and forth in different fonts, font weights, and colors.
But much of the time, the conversations are much more colorful — in that they’re splashed with expletives.“Lately my favorite room has gotten a bunch of pervert-nasty people,” Bird says.
“It was really cool, because even if your parents were in the next room, they couldn’t hear what you were talking about because you’re typing on your keyboard.”At AOL’s peak, more than 100 million AOL screen names existed, and users spent over a million hours chatting a year.When he heard the sound of a door creeping open ring from the speakers of his desktop computer, he’d perk up because the sound meant a friend was online, and they were free to chat.That was the 1990s, and Riccardi was into grunge and metal music, video games, and computers.But as the PC exploded in popularity during the Clinton years, so did AOL.A 1993 Associated Press story even describes how then-President Bill Clinton was considering holding a town hall on AOL.