You've Got... 25 Years! AOL Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Big Birthday Bash
ICONIC BRAND HONORS ITS PAST AS IT CHARTS ITS FUTURE
Thousands of AOL Employees and Alumni Join Company Leadership and Founders for Anniversary Celebration and Building Dedication Ceremony
DULLES, VA – May 24, 2010 – AOL, an iconic brand, turns 25 years old celebrating its pioneering role in Internet history. The company, responsible for bringing tens of millions of people online, made "You've Got Mail" one of the most ubiquitous phrases around the world. More than a thousand AOL employees and alumni gathered with company founders and executive leadership to celebrate AOL's official 25th anniversary and recommit the company to its founding values of helping people in everyday life and its rich heritage of innovation and creativity. The event, held at AOL's Dulles, Virginia campus, was marked by a ceremony in which three buildings were dedicated to AOL co-founders Steve Case and Jim Kimsey, and AOL Vice Chairman Emeritus Ted Leonsis.
"It's an honor to be back on the AOL campus and witness first-hand the abiding commitment to the company's core mission and founding values. AOL's staying power is a testament to its everyday relevance in American lives. That's what keeps AOL thriving and allows it to evolve as it embarks on what promises to be another exciting 25 years marked by unprecedented innovation and creativity," remarked AOL Co-Founder Steve Case.
"Today's event is not just meant to honor that rich history, but celebrate the next 25 years of helping people through innovation and creativity. We're certainly proud of our past, but we're even more excited about what we have in store for customers as we move forward into the future," said AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong.
Today's event is part of a week-long celebration of commemoration activities that kicked off on May 20 with a global employee volunteer day across 18 cities. The activities will conclude later this week with the launch of the Project on Creativity in partnership with legendary American artist Chuck Close. This project will span the company's 25th anniversary year, yielding iconic portraits by Close of some of the world's leading innovators and creative visionaries.
AOL was founded on May 24, 1985, and now reaches a domestic U.S. audience of more than 100 million unique visitors per month and more than 250 million unique visitors globally, according to comScore Unified March 2010 data. From its origins as an access provider, AOL has grown into a leading global web services company and is focused on leveraging its core strengths and scale in quality content, premium advertising and consumer applications to position itself for the next phase of growth of the Internet.
Landmarks in AOL's First 25 Years
Here are key dates in the history of AOL:
1985: AOL is born (then called Quantum Computer Services)
1989: Members hear "Welcome! You've got mail!" for the first time
1989: Instant Messenger launches
1991: Quantum is renamed America Online, Inc.
1992: AOL goes public on NASDAQ (symbol AMER)
1993: AOL surpasses 500,000 members
1993: Disk mailings make AOL a household name
1994: First advertisers appear on AOL
1995: AOL reaches 1 million members, AOL.com is launched
1995: AOL Germany is launched as AOL's first international venture
1996: AOL moves to the NYSE under the symbol "AOL" and reaches 5 million members
1996: Running Man debuts on Instant Messenger
1996: AOL Canada, UK and France launch
1998: AOL acquires CompuServe
1998: The movie "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan is released
1998: AOL's Buddy List Network enters the Smithsonian's permanent collection
1999: AOL acquires Netscape and Moviefone
2000: AOL acquires MapQuest
2001: AOL and Time Warner merge
2002: Five million members download AOL 8.0 software in two weeks
2003: AOL blocks 2 billion spam e-mail messages in one day
2004: AOL acquires Advertising.com
2005: AOL become the first Internet company to win an Emmy for online programming with its coverage of the global Live8 concerts
2005: Revitalized AOL.com launches, providing Web users free access to much of AOL's content
2006: America Online, Inc. officially changes its name to AOL LLC
2006: AOL begins offering its e-mail, software, content and most of its services free to Web users
2007: AOL launches more than a dozen new targeted sites and relaunches a dozen existing sites
2008: AOL launches 14 downloadable apps for the iPhone, including AIM for iPhone, one of the most popular free apps
2009: AOL Running Man inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame
2009: AOL begins trading on the NYSE after separating from Time Warner
2010: Lifestream available as standalone product for desktop, as well as iPhone and Android
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a leading global web services company with an extensive suite of brands and offerings and a substantial worldwide audience. AOL's business spans online content, products and services that the company offers to consumers, publishers and advertisers. AOL is focused on attracting and engaging consumers and providing valuable online advertising services on both AOL's owned and operated properties and third-party websites. In addition, AOL operates one of the largest Internet subscription access services in the United States, which serves as a valuable distribution channel for AOL's consumer offerings.