This Hilarious Ad Imagines How Awesome Facebook Would Have Been in 1995

Spoof of a real AOL spot

Headshot of Alfred Maskeroni

In its early days, the Internet was sort of the Wild West. Message boards, chatrooms and newsgroups were huge. Browsers, apps and social media were just a twinkle in its eye. 

Well, what if Facebook—which launched in 2004—were around a decade earlier, in the primordial ooze of the Internet? The pretty hilarious fake commercial below imagines just that—and is actually a parody of the cult favorite America Online spot from 1995 (that's "AOL" to you teens).

The Facebook parody, from comedian Brent Weinbach, features some pretty amazing dialogue which comes off as absurd but gives us some profound perspective on how far we've come—and how good we have it 20 years later.

"How about just clicking on your Mom's profile and saying 'Happy Birthday'—it's the same thing as sending her a package," our hero informs his buddy. He then sounds off on some of its other features: "Simply ship a few photographs to The Facebook, they'll cover the postage, and an operator will set up your profile." (It's referred to as "The Facebook" throughout, which indeed was Mark Zuckerberg's original name for it.)

Replete with VHS warping, crappy lettering and a terribly cheesy soundtrack, this is a pretty perfect, almost shot-for-shot parody of the AOL original (which you can see below). For an extra treat (and if you're super bored), sync them up and watch them at the same time.

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@maskeroni Alfred Maskeroni is director of video for Adweek.