The History of NetZero
In October of 1998, the founders of NetZero, Stacy Haitsuka, Ronald T Burr, Harold MacKenzie, and Marwan Zebian launched the world's earliest free Internet Service. Within their first six months, the NetZero free Internet Service boasted 1,000,000 users.
It was NetZero's innovative-targeted advertising that enabled them to offer free Internet Service to their users. They were the first company to implement URL targeted advertising based on a user's surf patterns.
By 1999, several ISP companies were following NetZero's lead by offering the option of free Internet Service. These companies offered their customers free Internet in exchange for allowing them to display advertisement on their desktops, in the form of a toolbar or banner.
Unfortunately for these companies, Netzero held the targeted banner ad patent, and as a result brought lawsuits against many of their competitors. The dotcom bust of 2001 brought down many of these competitors, allowing NetZero the opportunity to acquire several of these companies. As it would turn out, NetZero would be one of the few companies that would actually benefit from the dotcom bust, as they were also able to acquire companies such as AimTV, Simpli, and Rocketcash.
Another major change that would result from the dotcom crash of 2001. It was at this point that NetZero began charging users for internet use that accumulated to more than 40 hours a month, This change also brought about the Netzero Platinum Service which charged $9.95 a month for unlimited use.
Implementing this business model enabled Netzero to acquire Juno Online Services, one of their major competitors. As a result, Netzero would create a new holding company, named United Online.
In 2005, Netzero released new software that replaced the advertising bar with a helper object for Internet Explorer. At about this time they also began offering a new service called 3G, which stands for the "Third Generation of Internet." The service is advertised as being a dial-up that is nearly as fast as a broadband connection.
In 2006, NetZero launched a voice messaging service called Private Phone. This allowed users to receive 10 free voicemail messages at a time. This free service is no longer available. Netzero first announced that it would discontinue their free voicemail service in December of 2007, but the date was subsequently changed to February 2008.
Today NetZero's accelerated dial-up service offers many extras, such as free Norton AniVirus; email with spam protection as well as a popup blocker. NetZero offers free online customer service and one of the fastest dial-up connections available at a reasonable price. In addition, NetZero now offers users the option of DSL Service as well as their affordable dial-up service. They are continuously finding ways to bring their customers new technologies and services.
NetZero has come a long way since they first launched in the late 1990s.