May 4, 2006 6:50 PM PDT

AOL to launch free AIM phone service

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America Online is planning to launch by month's end AIM Phoneline, a free service that will let AOL Instant Messenger users receive incoming calls from any phone, a company representative said Thursday.

Voice over instant messaging is built into AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger, but AIM Phoneline would be the first to offer a free phone number. Those services compete with the popular Net phone company Skype, which was acquired by eBay last year.

People can also pay $14.95 a month to upgrade to AIM Phoneline Unlimited, which will let them make calls to any phone number in the U.S. and 30 other countries, the representative said.

AOL, a division of Time Warner, also plans to launch later this month a blogging service called AIM Pages that will alert people when contacts in their buddy list update their AIM Pages blogs, the representative said.

See more CNET content tagged:
AOL AIM Phoneline, AOL Instant Messenger, America Online Inc., Time Warner Inc., instant messenger

22 comments

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millions of users = phone # shortage.......
How on earth can AOL offer it's millions of subscribers a free phone number???? cell phones are already pushing the limits of our available numbers, this is going to kill it forever.
Posted by jeffhesser (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
disregard that.... my bad
after i posted i got to thinking.... and did some research... so there are a TON of numbers not being used... next time i'll research first, post second.
Posted by jeffhesser (102 comments )
Link Flag
millions of users = phone # shortage.......
How on earth can AOL offer it's millions of subscribers a free phone number???? cell phones are already pushing the limits of our available numbers, this is going to kill it forever.
Posted by jeffhesser (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
disregard that.... my bad
after i posted i got to thinking.... and did some research... so there are a TON of numbers not being used... next time i'll research first, post second.
Posted by jeffhesser (102 comments )
Link Flag
This is just another Big Media HOAX :(
This is just one more Hoax out of the Big media :(
Only possible because AOL has Billions of dollars in Google & Yahoo shares and in other Big media outlets so they just put out any lies they want.

To be exact, I guarantee you this:
1- AOL will never offer free real phone numbers for people to call into a free IM account.
2- Should such a service be offered for free, it will be just for long enough to sucker enough people into it, once few millions have signed up then they will turn the switch ON and start charging for it big time. After all what are you going to do by that time when you have given this
phone number you got (supposedly for free) to many people. You are going to shut up and pay up what AOL ask from you or loose possible contact from many who you gave this phone number too.
Posted by Sea of Cortez (67 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: Big media HOAX
Wow.... so I guess its all just one big conspiracy huh?
Posted by ericblr0716 (83 comments )
Link Flag
This is just another Big Media HOAX :(
This is just one more Hoax out of the Big media :(
Only possible because AOL has Billions of dollars in Google & Yahoo shares and in other Big media outlets so they just put out any lies they want.

To be exact, I guarantee you this:
1- AOL will never offer free real phone numbers for people to call into a free IM account.
2- Should such a service be offered for free, it will be just for long enough to sucker enough people into it, once few millions have signed up then they will turn the switch ON and start charging for it big time. After all what are you going to do by that time when you have given this
phone number you got (supposedly for free) to many people. You are going to shut up and pay up what AOL ask from you or loose possible contact from many who you gave this phone number too.
Posted by Sea of Cortez (67 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: Big media HOAX
Wow.... so I guess its all just one big conspiracy huh?
Posted by ericblr0716 (83 comments )
Link Flag
How are they going to finance this?
They've got to end up charging for it somehow. Since they're loosing customers how can they afford this? I don't think that ads on the AIM user's end could cover that much. Even with 1-800-DIAL-AIM then some numerical ID.

Of course this won't stop me from trying it out. It juast stops me depending on it.
Posted by bartb88 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
FINANCING
Barb88,

I imagine AOL harvesting all the user data and re-selling it.

Did you know that Vonage, the Voice Over Internet phone company, mines all incoming and outgoing phone numbers and re-sells that data to tele-marketers? That is how that 'free' service runs.

Just a hunch, but I'd sure like to read the fine print of this "Too good to be true" offer.

That's my two cents.
Posted by noaudio89 (2 comments )
Link Flag
How are they going to finance this?
They've got to end up charging for it somehow. Since they're loosing customers how can they afford this? I don't think that ads on the AIM user's end could cover that much. Even with 1-800-DIAL-AIM then some numerical ID.

Of course this won't stop me from trying it out. It juast stops me depending on it.
Posted by bartb88 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
FINANCING
Barb88,

I imagine AOL harvesting all the user data and re-selling it.

Did you know that Vonage, the Voice Over Internet phone company, mines all incoming and outgoing phone numbers and re-sells that data to tele-marketers? That is how that 'free' service runs.

Just a hunch, but I'd sure like to read the fine print of this "Too good to be true" offer.

That's my two cents.
Posted by noaudio89 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Which 30 countries will this new phone svc support?
If anyone knows....please share the info.
Posted by ciscokid2k (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
30 countries listed at the website
the countries (or the limited areas of some contries) are listed at

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.aimphoneline.com/intcalling.adp?pg=1" target="_newWindow">http://www.aimphoneline.com/intcalling.adp?pg=1</a>
Posted by TucsonAlexAZ (53 comments )
Link Flag
Which 30 countries will this new phone svc support?
If anyone knows....please share the info.
Posted by ciscokid2k (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
30 countries listed at the website
the countries (or the limited areas of some contries) are listed at

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.aimphoneline.com/intcalling.adp?pg=1" target="_newWindow">http://www.aimphoneline.com/intcalling.adp?pg=1</a>
Posted by TucsonAlexAZ (53 comments )
Link Flag
 

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