Published: Sat, October 07, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

RIP AIM: AOL to shut down instant messaging service after 20 years

RIP AIM: AOL to shut down instant messaging service after 20 years

AOL is officially ending AIM. "Instant messages allow communication that is faster than e-mail but more personal than a chat room", a USA Today piece from 1999 marveled.

At the moment, there is no replacement lineup for AIM, but users can still use the existing app until the December 15 execution date.

AOL cut off access to AIM from third-party chat clients back in March, hinting at this eventual shutdown. "Definitely stay tuned as we're fired up to provide more products and experiences that people around the world love".

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AIM boasted 100 million registered users in 2001 and instant messaging was seen as the biggest digital communications innovation since email.

Though it's probably been a long time since most people logged into their AIM account, it's unlikely anyone who used it regularly will forget what was possibly their first internet identity.

Texting via SMS on cell phones and social applications like Facebook have overtaken AIM.

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"I had the opportunity very briefly to meet Mark Zuckerberg, and I think the first time I met him I was running AIM still", said Bankoff. "You likely remember the CD, your first screen name, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organized your buddy lists".

"Thank you to all of our AIM users", the company said. Oath is the new company Verizon created to merge elements of AOL and Yahoo following its acquisition of both. "And it captivated all of us".

If you'd like to save your chat history, you'll have to save them before December 15 as well.

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