FCC: Open up AOL’s messaging
September 13, 2000 3:46 PM   Subscribe

FCC: Open up AOL’s messaging "Federal regulators could force America Online Inc. to open its popular instant-messaging service to rivals as a condition of approving its acquisition of Time Warner Inc." I think this is good news for instant messaging, but I'm never really comfortable with the government forcing such things. What do you think?
posted by ericost (15 comments total)
Cute script.
posted by nikzhowz at 3:53 PM on September 13, 2000

I dunno about the ruling, but I have to say, I HATE AOL-IM, and I'm real suspicious about the fact that ever since I installed it (unwillingly!), my ICQ has been acting weird & failing to connect. ICQ worked perfectly before. I know that sounds paranoid, esp. since AOL now owns ICQ, but it seemed pretty strange that ICQ would crap out just when I put IM on my system.
posted by wiremommy at 4:03 PM on September 13, 2000

What rat? Matt Rat?
posted by aaron at 4:06 PM on September 13, 2000

Man, I love AIM. I have tried ICQ, really tried it, but could not figure out how to do anything I wanted to do with the wickedly horrible interface. AIM does everything I want; what doesn't it do for you wiremommy?
posted by ericost at 4:19 PM on September 13, 2000

My only complaint with AIM is the fact that AOL feels the need to plaster self promoting buttons and banners all over the son of a bitch.
posted by howa2396 at 4:22 PM on September 13, 2000

Well, how 'bout Jabber? It's worked well for me, and it's already open-source.
posted by Lirp at 4:25 PM on September 13, 2000

I really like Yahoo! Messanger, but I'm not completely sure why.

It just does exactly what I want it to, exactly the way I want it to.

And it was one of the first I encountered that would let me use port 80 to get through the firewall...
posted by cCranium at 5:28 PM on September 13, 2000

sadly, AOL IM is the only thing that most of our users on campus know how to use with any competence.

that ease of use is a bonus at times. there are other times when I wish AOL could do some of the things that ICQ does so well. simple things like logging on invisibly (I know, I can BLOCK users, but that's annoying).

then there's those stupid ads! as if AOL doesn't already have enough advertising!!
posted by SentientAI at 7:03 PM on September 13, 2000

"then there's those stupid ads!"

posted by CrayDrygu at 8:04 PM on September 13, 2000

I'd rather have the ad then a big empty grey area. :) too picky I guess, and as far as these other messaging services go, if the people I talk to aren't using it, then its worthless to me. I guess that means open IM standards could be a good thing for me.
posted by howa2396 at 8:47 PM on September 13, 2000

Comrades! Let's not squabble about whose IM app is better, who's has ads and what's open source. Soon we will all be one happy Instant Messaging Commune. So let all people, of all IM apps come together and buy the world a Coke and chat in perfect harmony.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 10:59 PM on September 13, 2000

The biggest advantage that ICQ has over IM for me: it archives. Everything. You can see a history of every message you've sent between yourself and anyone on your contact list. It's come in handy many, many times and let me look up stuff like phone numbers that I wrote down then lost.

Also, you can get a chat window thru ICQ and chat rather than instant message. I like that feature a lot. (I know IM has that too but I don't like it as well there.)

I guess a lot of it, also, is that ICQ is a messaging program packed with messaging functions-- no extra junk, or ads or anything like that. I don't need a news ticker or stock ticker and I definitely don't need an AOL ad on my messaging program. I wish ICQ hadn't sold to AOL. I would have been happy to pay $20-$30 for my ICQ.
posted by wiremommy at 9:42 AM on September 14, 2000

ICQ is a messaging program packed with messaging functions-- no extra junk

In my opinion, ICQ is all extra junk. I'd love an IM client that was JUST an IM client. Is that so hard? I suppose I could build my own on top of Jabber. Why can't someone else do it for me?? :)

To get back to the original question, which everyone has ignored: While I don't like the government forcing companies to give up their technology, in this case I think they should ask for a lot more than just IM to be given up. I'm much more afraid of the horrible disaster media distribution will become if AOL, the biggest ISP in the US, and Time Warner, the biggest magazine, news, music, and movie publisher in the world join forces to destroy users. It's just wrong.
posted by daveadams at 10:20 AM on September 14, 2000

ICQ does have too much junk in it these days, but you can sort of get rid of most of it, at least.
posted by dhartung at 5:59 PM on September 14, 2000

cCranium - I'm also a Yahoo Messenger fan - it does the job well, and is the only one I could find that is usable through our firewall! What other clients have you found that can use port 80 to get through?
posted by Tubes at 2:14 PM on September 15, 2000

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