BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- A former AOL executive says Facebook has a lot in common with the one-time online powerhouse.
For years, AOL tried its best to keep users within its walled gardens filled with exclusive articles, chat rooms and other features. That's much the way Facebook operates; you have to sign up and log in to be involved in your friends' lives.
Bob Pittman, AOL's former chief operating officer, says having a walled garden is wonderful, and he says AOL's troubles can be traced to a decision to abandon that.
AOL Inc., once the country's largest Internet access provider, began breaking down its walls in 2004 and accelerated that in 2006. It had little choice as subscribers were abandoning their dial-up accounts, and AOL wanted to boost its online advertising business.
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