America Online Announces That After 20 Years AIM Is Going Away For Good
It was one of the first "social" experiences on the internet and by the end of the year, it will be gone forever.
AOL has announced that it's legendary instant messenger service will shut down for good on December 15. The decision came as a result of a shift in behavior when it comes to the way we communicate.
AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed
So even though AIM laid the foundation for private messaging—or "DMs" as the cool kids call it these days—the very platforms that it helped to create is what eventually led to its demise. The writing was on the wall back in March, when AOL cut access to all third-party chat clients, but now we have a solid end date for the messaging service.
It all started in the '90s when we got those obnoxious CD-ROMs in the mail, boasting "50 FREE hours" of America Online. We would literally make an event of getting "online" and in those early days, our time was often limited to an hour at a time.
Personally, I can remember AIM being the way I chatted with friends, met other DJs from out of town, as well as those who lived overseas. It's file sharing capabilities allowed us to swap tracks and share personal remixes long before services like Dropbox, SoundCloud and the numerous streaming options that are available today.
In the late '90s into the early 2000s AIM was very instrumental when it came to networking amongst musicians and just about every other industry before texting or multimedia messaging became widely available.
I can even remember using AIM on my T-Mobile sidekick along with other messaging services like MSN Messenger and Yahoo Chat before what we know as today's smartphone even existed.
Even today, people are using messaging services like Snapchat and Facebook Messenger more than the standard text messaging on their smartphones.
But somehow, even though most of us can't even remember our screen name or password, there is definitely a hefty dose of nostalgia in seeing AIM go away for good. Do you remember your screen name(s)? Do you remember who your top buddies were? What did your "away message" say?
You've got until December 15 to say your goodbyes and set that final away message once and for all.