Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

AOL Instant Messenger shuts down after 20 years

AOL Instant Messenger shuts down after 20 years

October brought the news many were expecting: AIM would be permanently going dark on December 15. But these requests became so frequent that they were crashing AOL's servers, so AIM engineers made a decision to just show users all their friends' information up front instead. As one user put it, "I can't decide which John Mayer song I should quote to express my sadness at the death of AOL Instant Messenger".

While there is no shortage of means to communicate online, AIM holds a special place in many of our hearts.

"AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed", Michael Albers, vice president of communications product at Oath, said about the service that had been around since 1997, per USA Today.

Oath - the combined Yahoo-Verizon entity - is closing that creaky door for the last time today on AOL Instant Messenger, shutting down a mainstay of millions of millennial childhoods.

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

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Farewell, AIM. We hope that somehow you'll ~BrB~.

The shutdown was coming for awhile, especially after AOL revoked access to AIM from third-party chat clients in March.

However, adoption changed as text messaging took over and newer, more mobile-friendly products came onto the market, including Google's GChat and Facebook's Messenger.

Kyle Orland on Ars Technica, writes about how Away messages were turned into a creative outlet, "A lot of the early Away Message use in my group of friends was merely functional: "Away at class, ' or 'I'm asleep"..."

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