AOL Mail Alienates The Last Remnants Of Its Users By Requiring Phone Verification, Drops Into Obscurity

Aol Mail has done it, finally dropped into obscurity. How? By forcing phone verification on all new mail accounts. Not only phone verification, but forced required phone from “valid networks” and only if you can receive texts – and not VOIP. It’s not that anyone in the world can’t receive texts. It’s that for anyone with half a wit who cares enough about their privacy to not give things like their personal cell phone number to large hackable (and previously hacked) internet companies, now no one has any reason to go to AOL mail anymore.

Not only that, but with the phone verification system, users can no longer protect their privacy (through AOL mail at least) by creating multiple throw-away emails, which is something absolutely mandatory if you want to have any semblance of privacy online while actually being able to use a wide variety of internet services.
For anyone with half a wit who cares enough about their privacy to not give things like their personal cell phone number to large hackable (and previously hacked) internet companies, no one has any reason to go to AOL mail anymore.
Furthermore, if I must have my phone required, I certainly am not going to use one of the most obscure and featureless email services to do it. For years, AOL Mail was on my radar not because it has any semblance of good email service but because of one sole reason: it was easy to create a quick mail account, largely for throw-away emails for services for which I wanted privacy. (Note: I did not use Yahoo mail because Yahoo is even worse – they do not even allow IMAP access.)

I have been using AOL mail for this ever since Google began using phone verification. In other words, by not requiring phone verification, AOL mail was able to get years of advertising into one of the most unadvertised persons on the planet (me) by letting me create a lot of aol mail accounts and occasionally logging into them. This is a feat in itself (and partly because of their obtrusive advertising taking up the whole screen when you first log in.)

Now, however, all this is gone, gone forever. Now that I cannot create an aol mail account without giving them my real phone number which would inevitably be sold off to the highest bidder, there is no reason for me to ever use aol mail again. I’ve spent several years eliminating any real traces of myself from the internet and enjoyed a calm telemarketer-less phone. It was only when I gave in one time and gave my phone when signing up at Costco, that I received, within 24 hours, a telemarketing call. So even Costco sells your number. But I digress.
For years, AOL Mail was on my radar not because it has any semblance of good email service but because of one sole reason: it was easy to create a quick mail account, largely for throw-away emails for services for which I wanted privacy.
AOL was the beginning of email in many people’s minds. However, in recent generations most people under 25 years old probably don’t even know the colloquial phrase “you’ve got mail”, and it isn’t for lack of seeing Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in a 1998 romance film. It’s because AOL has slipped into obscurity for the most part. However, they have stayed alive for one reason, and one reason only, and that reason is not because anyone cares about having an aol mail account. Those days are long gone.

The one reason was because any marketer could create tons of aol accounts without any worry about a phone nag. Then you could set up gmail to fetch mails using IMAP from your aol account. Voila, a new account. And on occasion a new aol mail account you would not link to your gmail but visit the aol panel, in order to keep online identities separate.

Granted, there are ways to get around the phone nag. But to do any of these circumvention measures, which by the way is a PITA, there is no reason to spend that hassle on an obscure, outdated, featureless email service to do it. I might as well make a ton more gmail accounts.

In recent generations most people under 25 years old probably don’t even know the colloquial phrase “you’ve got mail”, and it isn’t for lack of seeing Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in a 1998 romance film. It’s because AOL has slipped into obscurity for the most part.
So-long Aol, you just shot yourself in the foot alienating the last of your remaining loyal userbase. I used to promote Aol for the fact there is no hassle to create an account. Now however I will be telling everyone and anyone who says anything about Aol the exact opposite. Actually, that statement was pointless. I can’t remember a time when anyone mentioned Aol for any reason within the last 10 years. But at least I have this blog to remind people why Aol is now obsolete.

Things AOL mail does not have that Gmail has:

AOL MAIL:


No Threaded Messages
No POP3
No IMAP (IN)
No Delayed Message Sending
No Dark Theme
No Bulk Delete
No PGP Support
No Android Contact Integration
No Usable Search
No Advanced Search Filters
No Merged Mailboxes (Multiple Accounts)
No Send From Another Email Address
No Drag And Drop
Awful Layout
Awful Message Capabilities
Awful Signature Design
Awful Folders
Lots More Awfulness

Gmail on the other hand has all this, and more (and non-awful on the awful things above). And if AOL mail turns out to have one of those features above, it’s missing the point – Gmail has all these features. Aol mail has been obscure for decades, and despite their desperate redesigns and multiple massive rebranding campaigns, they just refused to add in the required features to make it worthy as a competitor with the top email providers.

On a side note, Gmail isn’t perfect either – Gmail lacks is the ability for local-only storage, like Outlook or Thunderbird. Instead, Gmail must be used on Google servers, which by itself is a massive deterrent (so does Aol mail, by the way). However, the feature-set and design and capabilities is so important that it’s worth using Gmail over Outlook. But that’s besides the point.
There are ways to get around the phone nag. But to do any of these circumvention measures, but there is no reason to spend that hassle on an obscure, outdated, featureless email service [such as Aol mail].
Aol mail was never very good, and now they have taken away the only thing keeping people signing up for new accounts. Without a massive advertising campaign, AOL mail signups will drop off to nothing. And even if they do have a massive advertising campaign, all they can really do is trick the ignorant into signing up for a subpar email service with very limited features, insecurity, and forcing those unsuspecting victims into giving away their personal phone number into the void of telemarketer hell.

To be honest, if it were not for being so easy to make an Aol account, I would most likely have forgotten about Aol entirely save for seeing one of those AOL CDs in an old box from the 1990s in someone’s storage closet. Now, however, it looks like that is now Aol’s fate at last.

AOL Junk

Share this:

2 thoughts on “AOL Mail Alienates The Last Remnants Of Its Users By Requiring Phone Verification, Drops Into Obscurity

  1. True. Weird how every mail now requires a phone though.

    0
    0
    • Gmail only requires a phone if you make many accounts. You can get around the gmail requirement as long as you don’t log in from another location. I’ve never given my phone to google. There are many others that don’t require a phone either. For example, although mail.com sucks ultra bad and is one of the worst, they also don’t require a phone to sign up.

      0
      0

ADD A COMMENT
2 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Welcome my friend, Helper Cat says you need to register for that! :)
Register