I’m dumb for taking this long to realize Facebook is what AOL usd to be. The walled garden for other users of the same service that technically can get online to the rest of the web, but generally don’t because for them facebook is ‘enough.’ You have your shared groups (My mom gets a lot of use out of a local swap-meet group,) you can use it to keep tabs on friends and family. It has its own toxic memes and spawned its own subcultures, terms, and at this point i think the only reason facebook isn’t an ISP is because of the Teleco stranglehold on the market.
There are of course differences. AOL was a bundled ISP and content service. Facebook is a destination your ISP takes you to… It’s free vs aol’s having to pay to get in, and as i mentioned AOL as ISP plus portal/garden vs facebook being a ‘free’ garden where you’re the thing being marketed as your data is harvested. I’m not sure if AOL did data aggrigation in the sense we understand it today.