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You might be surprised to discover that AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) is still a thing. You may be less surprised that Oath, which owns AOL and Yahoo, has decided AIM’s time is now up. So on December 15, 2017, the last few people still using AIM need to switch up to something more modern.
AIM is an acronym familiar to anyone old enough to have used the internet in the 1990s. AOL Instant Messenger started life as the built-in chat application for America Online. And then, in 1997, AOL released it as a standalone download. And everyone duly downloaded it to chat with their friends.
AIM Is Going Away for Good
Fast-forward 20 years, and Oath is shutting down AOL Instant Messenger. AIM will cease to be on December 15, 2017. At which point the hundreds of people still using the instant messaging service despite their children willing them to stop doing so will have to move on to something better.
— AIM (@aim) October 6, 2017
In a to-the-point post on Tumblr, Oath said, “AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed. As a result we’ve made the decision that we will be discontinuing AIM effective December 15, 2017.”
The writing has been on the wall for AIM for a while. In 2012, AOL eviscerated the AIM team, leaving what was described as “support staff” behind. Then, in March 2017, third-party clients such as Adium were essentially cut off from accessing AIM. And now the curtain is coming down completely.
Choose From Countless Alternatives
It’s a sad day when anything which people fondly remember dies. And AIM is no exception. But all good things must come to an end, and AOL Instant Messenger probably outlive its usefulness by at least five years. Plus, it’s not like there aren’t any other messaging apps available. You know, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Telegram, Skype, and countless other entities.
Do you still use AOL Instant Messenger? If so, what’s kept you using AIM over the newer alternatives? If not, when was the last time you used it? Did you even know it was still a thing? What should AIM users switch to instead? Please let us know in the comments below!