AOL Instant Messenger to shut down Dec. 15
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Who knew it still existed?
AOL has announced that it is discontinuing its pioneering Instant Messenger chat platform after 20 years of service.
An article on AOL’s website posted Friday says AOL Instant Messenger will be discontinued on Dec. 15.
"If you were a 90’s kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was a huge part of your life," the post from Michael Albers, vice-president of communications product at Oath, starts. "You likely remember the CD, your first screenname, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organized your buddy lists."
Albers adds: "Characters throughout pop culture from You’ve Got Mail to Sex and the City used AIM to help navigate their relationships."
He says AOL is shutting down the program because its focus is “on building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products.”
Users can still use the program until Dec. 15. After that date, users won’t be able to sign in.
Started in 1997, AIM was wildly popular into the early 2000s and claimed more than 100 million registered users in 2001.
Albers says, at the time, the service "captivated all of us" because the "world had never seen anything like it."
But its popularity as a communication tool waned amid the rise of text messaging, Google Chat and social networking sites.
— With Files From the Associated Press