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Over the next year, many of the leading BBS software providers went bankrupt and tens of thousands of BBSes disappeared.Today, BBSing survives largely as a nostalgic hobby in most parts of the world, but it is still an extremely popular form of communication for Taiwanese youth (see PTT Bulletin Board System) and in China.Infoworld estimated that there were 60,000 BBSes serving 17 million users in the United States alone in 1994, a collective market much larger than major online services such as Compu Serve.
Useful microcomputers did not exist at that time, and modems were both expensive and slow.
Unfortunately, the system was expensive to operate, and when their host machine became unavailable and a new one could not be found, the system closed in January 1975.
Similar functionality was available to most mainframe users, which might be considered a sort of ultra-local BBS when used in this fashion.
With the introduction of microcomputers with expansion slots, like the S-100 bus machines and Apple II, it became possible for the modem to communicate instructions and data on separate lines.
A number of modems of this sort were available by the late 1970s.