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AIM will shut down after 20 years

It's a miserable moment: AIM, AOL's long-running immediate messenger support that was core to a lot of people's initial social experiences on the world wide web, will close down once and for everyone on December 15th. AOL announced the shutdown now, admitting that people today speak in new ways on the internet, therefore AIM is no more needed. AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed, writes Michael Albers, communications good VP (that Verizon behemoth that absorbed AOL).

AOL cut off access to AIM from third party chat clients ago in March, hinting at this eventual shutdown. It is difficult to imagine that many folks are still using AIM, so that change, nor this forthcoming shutdown, are very likely to make a massive difference. AIM was among the very first and most prosperous instant messengers, broadly utilised in the late '90s and even during the 2000s. I was still using AIM to talk with my friends during college at the close of the decade, like to stay in touch with my (not-yet) significant other while she was studying abroad.


But with the proliferation of tablets, everything has shifted. Text messaging has now taken more than desktop instant messaging apps, and more, we're seeing other societal programs, like Snapchat and Instagram, take around for individuals in some ways. For straight messaging, Facebook also makes things considerably easier, as you're already connected to everybody you know and will only start up a chat without exchanging arcane things like screen names. In actuality, Facebook has multiple billion-user messaging services at this point, Messenger along with WhatsApp.

Other traditional chat apps have shut down in recent years, also. MSN Messenger shut down in 2014, along with Yahoo Messenger closed down last year (although Yahoo also launched a brand new messaging service under exactly the same name). It was just a matter of time until AIM joined them, but there is still some nostalgia in watching it go. Together with AIM in its way from the door, today's your final chance to write that ideal message away.