It’s the top of an period that realistically ended a decade in the past. On Friday, AOL announced that AOL Prompt Messenger (AIM) will shut down completely on December 15, 2017.
Once I heard the information, my thoughts flashed again to the packing containers filled with America On-line CDs in each retailer, to the dubstep-like beeps and boops of a 28.8K modem connecting to the Web, and AIM chat rooms offering a real-time reference to individuals around the globe lengthy earlier than social networks achieved the identical job.
However the rise of social networks like Fb and Whatsapp have been the ultimate nail in AIM’s coffin. The corporate acknowledges that the instances aren’t simply a-changing now that we’re within the smartphone period—they’ve already been altered without end. “AIM tapped into new digital applied sciences and ignited a cultural shift, however the way in which during which we talk with one another has profoundly modified,” writes Michael Albers, VP of communications at Oath (the Verizon model that wolfed up AOL).
AOL discontinued lively AIM improvement in 2012, and reduce off third-party apps (like Adium, Trillian, and Pidgin) earlier this year. And AOL Prompt Messenger isn’t the one flip of the century vanguard to fall on arduous instances; Microsoft shut down MSN Messenger in 2014, whereas Yahoo Messenger closed up store last year.
An AOL help page says you’ll proceed to have entry to your @intention.com e-mail deal with, however there’s no approach to save or export your AIM buddy listing for posterity.
So pour one out for AIM. Who might’ve guessed that AOL’s dial-up Web enterprise would outlast the one-time chat large? For those who’re in search of an all-encompassing AIM various, this handy Chrome extension permits you to entry Whatsapp, Fb Messenger, Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, Discord, Steam chat and extra from a single window.