Let’s examine this. AOL (America On-Line) wanted to be the gateway; the hub of all interactive life. It wanted to handle email, web browsing, commerce, and eventually added rudimentary video conferencing and telephone control – all for a low monthly cost, with advertising.
It mostly didn’t work out for AOL. While they’ve gone through various mergers, and the email accounts live on, AOL as it was is almost entirely gone.
Facebook is already establishing itself as a messaging hub, mostly via its Messenger App. They’ve stepped up on curating news through a sidebar feed. The place is predominantly advertising-supported.
The greatest similarities are in the business model; that is, when the peak is reached, start looking for merger targets to ‘grow’ the reach. AOL picked a bad target (Time-Warner), not quite understanding the power of disruption of the Internet and how that would eventually supplant traditional media.
So far, Facebook has avoided that sort of deal.
An idea, to be revisited.