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Twenty years after launching as a download for Microsoft Windows computers in 1997, AOL Instant Messenger will be officially discontinued from December 15, 2017. AOL parent company Oath announced the end of AIM in a blog post earlier this morning, celebrating with a nostalgic recollection of how big the messaging platform was in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

aim-dead.jpg

All good things come to an end. On Dec 15, we'll bid farewell to AIM. Thank you to all our users! #AIMemories https://t.co/b6cjR2tSuU pic.twitter.com/V09Fl7EPMx - AIM (@aim) October 6, 2017
According to Michael Albers, VP of Communications Product at Oath, the reason behind the discontinuation is how "profoundly" the ways we communicate have changed over the years, leading many to abandon AIM for mobile apps like Apple's iMessage, Facebook's WhatsApp, and more.
If you were a 90's kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was a huge part of your life. You likely remember the CD, your first screenname, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organized your buddy lists. Right now you might be reminiscing about how you had to compete for time on the home computer in order to chat with friends outside of school. You might also remember how characters throughout pop culture from "You've Got Mail" to "Sex and the City" used AIM to help navigate their relationships. In the late 1990's, the world had never seen anything like it. And it captivated all of us.

AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed. As a result we've made the decision that we will be discontinuing AIM effective December 15, 2017.
There are still plans to "continue building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products," Albers said, similar to what AIM did for instantaneously messaging friends in the early days of the internet. No further specifics were given as to what the company might launch next.

Last month, AIM was also removed as a chat option from Apple's Messages app in macOS High Sierra, providing another hint that many users no longer logged into the service. Over the years, there have also been AIM apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Article Link: AOL Instant Messenger Officially Discontinuing This December After Twenty Years Online
 

Soba

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2003
450
700
Rochester, NY
Rest in peace, Running Man!

Until recently, I actually still used it from time to time, through Adium.
 
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tkukoc

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Sep 16, 2014
1,533
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Your kidding me! I use this every... agh.. wait.. they were still around? See ya later fellas!
 

adamjackson

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2008
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After I got tired of constantly updating my AIM status to let friends know what I was doing (very old-school Twitter TBH), I had a plugin on my Mac that would update my status with the current iTunes Song. A lot of my friends used it too and it was a great way to find new music.

When iChatAV Came out, You can start a random chat so I started a chat called "Jaguar" for the OS. People would cycle in and out and eventually, there were 20 of us in the Jaguar chat. I met a few of them in real life over the years at Macworld. We moved to Panther when that came out and eventually it fizzled out but a lot of my social time in high school was spent in the AIM chat with other Mac users just talking about random stuff. I recently emailed one of my buddies from there and am visiting him in Toronto in a few months.

AIM kept me in touch with friends and family but I also met new people and established friendships with them. It was a wonderful service and served a unique purpose.

Edit: Here's a screen shot

ShHB9Ql.png
 
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Mic'sBook

macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2010
130
180
Hong Kong
As a native Hong Konger, the first instant messaging desktop app I used was ICQ, and then MSN Messenger (Windows Live Messenger), and then nothing because all have been using WhatsApp since the adoption of smartphone after the birth of iPhone. (WeChat, in other words, are mainly used by 'newly immigrated Hong Kong people' from mainland China)

AOL's target customers are US customers, so I'm not really familiar with AOL itself, but I do know it was the main ISP back in the 90's (I love watching Computer Chronicles on YouTube by Stewart Cheifet btw ;), and I know there was something like Apple eWorld as well)

But one thing from AOL really caught my attention, which is the signature sound bite: 'You've got mail!'


Though that may not have anything to do with the AOL AIM, anyway
 

Mizouse

macrumors 6502
Nov 5, 2014
424
637
Hmm still have the app on my phone even thou I haven't logged on in a year or two or three.
 

yanki01

macrumors 68040
Feb 28, 2009
3,625
1,765
ah man good times! used that a ton in middle school and very early high school. would chat with my now wife though AIM since her parents made her get off the phone early on a school night. (yes kids, we talked on the phone. not just texted). looking back at those screen names is hilarious.
 

Hater

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2017
898
884
Edinburgh, Scotland
After I got tired of constantly updating my AIM status to let friends know what I was doing (very old-school Twitter TBH), I had a plugin on my Mac that would update my status with the current iTunes Song. A lot of my friends used it too and it was a great way to find new music.

When iChatAV Came out, You can start a random chat so I started a chat called "Jaguar" for the OS. People would cycle in and out and eventually, there were 20 of us in the Jaguar chat. I met a few of them in real life over the years at Macworld. We moved to Panther when that came out and eventually it fizzled out but a lot of my social time in high school was spent in the AIM chat with other Mac users just talking about random stuff. I recently emailed one of my buddies from there and am visiting him in Toronto in a few months.

AIM kept me in touch with friends and family but I also met new people and established friendships with them. It was a wonderful service and served a unique purpose.

Edit: Here's a screen shot

ShHB9Ql.png

Ah, mess.be and MSN Messenger.

It was a totally cool feature to have the "Now Playing" broadcast to your friends...

Until you forgot that you had MSN on auto-open behind Windows Media Player as you launched "Buxxxom Housewives 4" that had downloaded while you were at school without your parents noticing...
 
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avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
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It's amazing how things have evolved and the degree to which technology has completely changed the way we communicate electronically over the past two decades. When AIM launched, you had to be sitting in front of a computer that was most likely dialed into your ISP in order to use it. Now, we all carry computers in our pockets that are online 24/7. We're so accustomed to the "always on" connectedness with smartphones and tablets now that the thought of having to go sit in one place in our homes or businesses in order to connect to the internet is very archaic.
 

simonmet

Cancelled
Sep 9, 2012
2,666
3,663
Sydney
To this day I believe my iCloud login works with AIM in Messages. Apple used the AIM protocol for screen-sharing as well. It worked perfectly and Apple never replaced it with anything else quite as easy.

I don’t do Facebook (and never will) so I’m not sure what else is replacing this and the already defunct MSN.

Adium also had the “Now playing in iTunes” feature.
 

JosephAW

macrumors 603
May 14, 2012
5,854
7,699
Someday we'll read about the parent company of Apple discontinuing iMessage thanks to the bad management from the former CEO of Apple, Mr. Cook.
 
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