After 20 years of service, AOL Instant Messenger will officially shut down on December 15, 2017. Oath, AIM’s parent company just announced it, admitting that there’s no need of AIM anymore as people now communicate in new ways online.
“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” writes Michael Albers, communications products VP at Oath.
Messenger full of nostalgia
AOL Instant Messenger has long been a popular chat program that connected a generation to their friends and crushes using the World Wide Web that required a desktop computer with a clunky dial-up connection. Through this platform, people could express themselves with embarrassing screen names, profiles full of emotional lyrics and colorful fonts, while maintaining early days of digital socializing.
Those things have been changed now with the proliferation of smartphones. Different social media apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp are taking the place of AIM. And special thanks to Facebook for making things easier. Instead of using a screen name, now you can just search through your friend list and start chatting with them.
It’s not the first time that any classic messenger is shutting down. In 2014, MSN Messenger shut down. Also, Yahoo Messenger shut down last year. So, it was just a matter of time until AOL joined them. Back in March, AOL cut off access to AIM from third-party chat clients, indicating to its eventual shutdown. However, for the 90’s kid who started their digital socializing through AIM, it will be quite heartbreaking seeing it go.