Technology moves quickly, and what were once essential tools to explore, buy and create content on the internet have come and gone. Check out some of these services that once were well known or widely used, but aren't in existence in the United States any more.
AOL Instant Messenger
Once the preferred method of online communication, offering quick, short messages punctuated with sound and buddy icons, AOL's Instant Messenger, or AIM, was largely replaced by other services including Facebook Messenger and Slack, and the increased popularity of text messages. AOL shut down the service for good in December 2017.
Netscape became the market leader in Web browsers shortly after it was introduced in 1994, but eventually lost that status to Internet Explorer by the turn of the century. Faced with more and more competition and a declining market share, Netscape was discontinued in 2008.
Ask Jeeves was introduced in 1996, as a question-answering Web browser featuring a cartoon valet named Jeeves who would fetch the information for the user. While Jeeves retired in 2006, the site does live on as a rebranded Ask.com.
AltaVista, a search engine, was popular shortly after its introduction in 1995. The Web search engine lost ground, and eventually was purchased by Yahoo in 2003. Ten years later, Yahoo pulled the plug on AltaVista and now directs traffic to its own site.
GeoCities was a Web hosting service that was introduced in 1994, and allowed users to build their own Web pages, and became one of the more popular destinations on the World Wide Web. The company was purchased by Yahoo in 1999, but eventually shut down in the United States 10 years later, although it still operates a branch of the site -- only in Japan.
Napster was founded in 1999 as a peer-to-peer file sharing site, particularly for sending audio files and MP3s. While the site became popular for trading music, it quickly ran into trouble over copyright infringement, and was shut down in 2001 and acquired by Roxio. It was relaunched in 2002 as an online music store, but never reached the same popularity and was eventually acquired by Rhapsody in 2011.
Meebo was an instant messaging and social networking provider founded in 2005. The service eventually was acquired in 2012 by Google, who quickly discontinued the site and assigned the staff to work on Google+ development.
Pets.com was founded in 1998 as a service that sold pet supplies to consumers, and was marked with a high-profile marketing campaign featuring a talking dog sock puppet. However, the company didn't last long and was liquidated by the end of 2000.
Kozmo.com was founded in 1998, and promised free delivery of everything from videos to Starbucks coffee within an hour in several cities in the United States. Skeptics wondered how the service would survive without charging a delivery fee, and the company eventually shut its doors in 2001.
Flooz.com was a venture launched in 1999 where users could either buy or accumulate internet currency and spend them at online retailers, which was backed by a marketing campaign featuring Whoopi Goldberg. However, "flooz" never caught on with retailers or consumers, and the company closed in 2001, rendering its virtual currency worthless.
Founded in 1997, eToys looked to sell toys online, and when it went public in 1999, the stock quickly shot up in value. Like many companies in the dot-com bubble, it couldn't recoup the money invested and went bankrupt in 2001.
LimeWire was founded in 2000 as a file-sharing site, offering both free and an "enhanced" version for a fee. The site lasted a decade before a U.S. federal court judge issued an injunction that led to the shutdown of the software, citing copyright infringement in a battle the company had with the Recording Industry Association of America.