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AOL officially discontinues Instant Messenger

16 December 2017

The AIM yellow running man was one of the most recognizable advertising icons of the 1990s.

Eulogies poured in for AIM on Twitter, with users remembering old screen names and lamenting the passage of time.

While AIM has been a shadow of its former self in the last decade, its death marks the end of an important cultural touchstone for the web.

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A post on MIT Technology Review by Julia Sklar highlights some of the innovations and influences of AIM. If you're looking for an all-encompassing AIM alternative, this handy Chrome extension lets you access Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, Discord, Steam chat and more from a single window. While the messaging client ended up with a longer lifespan than competitors MSN instant messenger and Yahoo instant messenger, it's clear that a massive shift in the way that people communicate is responsible for the shuttering of this service.

Yes, your chat history can be viewed and saved. And AOL Instant Messenger isn't the only turn of the century vanguard to fall on hard times; Microsoft shut down MSN Messenger in 2014, while Yahoo Messenger closed up shop a year ago. Having been around for more than 20 years, it was killed off just a few hours ago.

Others took the time to write out their goodbyes in the style of a classic AIM away message, with alternating capitalization and asterisks galore. "People would also throw up song lyrics, poem quotes, or complete non-sequiturs in lieu of actual information about their whereabouts".

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Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon that owns AOL has shut down AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).

Life after AIM will involve the creation of more "life changing products".

There are still plenty of real-time messaging applications that have grown in popularity and have a massive user base. AIM's influence and legacy continues in all of them.

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AOL officially discontinues Instant Messenger