Before iMessage, WhatsApp and even MSN, there was AOL’s instant messenger: AIM.
Internet pioneer AOL announced yesterday it has ‘g2g’ and will discontinue AIM on December 15, nearly 20 years since it first entered the market and changed the lives of 90’s kids forever.
In a mobile-first world with social media and text messaging taking over online communications, AOL acknowledged there’s little room for desktop instant messengers to thrive.
“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” wrote Michael Albers, communications products VP at Oath, a subsidiary of Version which acquired AOL in 2015.
AIM made its debut in 1997 and introduced the world to screen names, buddy lists, away messages and shorthand language. The instant chat app will continue to work until mid-December.
If users are feeling particularly nostalgic, AOL said chat history can be viewed and saved, along with images and files shared in the messenger. Users can also continuing using an @aim.com email address to send and receive email.
While AOL said there are “many loyal fans who have used AIM for decades,” there’s no current plans for a replacement.
The decision by the OG of instant messaging to sign off for good follows in the footsteps of computer chat apps Yahoo and MSN Messenger that also shut down their services in recent years.