Technology and applications come and go but rarely do they stick around for decades in some form or fashion. That has been the case with AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM. The first version of the chat client for Windows came in 1997, allowing friends and family to communicate with each other over the proprietary solution.
Today however, we say goodbye to the messaging platform. AOL announced back in October that they would be killing off the messaging service and as of now, they have no replacement for it. It is unlikely they will ever replace it given the number of hugely popular messaging apps out there like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Skype (and many more). Simply put, the competition for AIM was just to great and without innovation, technology, applications, and services eventually die.
For those who have been online for more than 15 years, it is likely that AIM was a part of your life. I know it was for me and it was the first communications app that I used to stay in contact with my family and a few friends. AOL at the time was the biggest game in town when it came to dial-up ISP service so everyone, it seemed, was on it.
AOL, which is now apart of Oath, never fully explained why they are killing the platform but it almost certainly has to do with the number of users and the upkeep of the platform. It simply isn’t cost effective to do any more and I’d bet even money that AIM hasn’t had a significant number of new users in years.
Thanks AOL for introducing us to messaging apps. AIM was awesome. May it rest in peace.