My AIM Is Boo: AOL Shutting Down Instant Messenger Service - Rolling Stone
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My AIM Is Boo: AOL Shutting Down Instant Messenger Service

Chat app discontinued in December after two-decade run

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AOL is shutting down its long-running instant messenger service, AIM.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Image

It’s time to let the Running Man run free.

AOL is shutting down its instant messaging service, AIM, after a two-decade run. The company announced Friday that the chat app, which launched in 1997, will “no longer work” as of December 15th.

Michael Albers, VP of communications product at Oath – the company created following Verizon’s 2017 merger of AOL and Yahoo – eulogized AIM in a nostalgic Tumblr post.

“If you were a Nineties kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was a huge part of your life,” he wrote. “You likely remember the CD, your first screenname, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organized your buddy lists. Right now you might be reminiscing about how you had to compete for time on the home computer in order to chat with friends outside of school. You might also remember how characters throughout pop culture from You’ve Got Mail to Sex and the City used AIM to help navigate their relationships. In the late 1990s, the world had never seen anything like it. And it captivated all of us.”

Albers admitted that such an old-fashioned chat system no longer makes sense in a post-Gmail/Twitter culture wherein “the way in which he communicate with each other has profoundly changed.”


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