RIP AIM: AOL to shut down instant messaging service after 20 years

AOL’s Instant Messenger is signing off forever after 20 years.

Oath, the parent company created from Verizon’s merging of AOL and Yahoo, announced Friday that AIM will shut down on Dec. 15.

“If you were a 90s kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger was a huge part of your life,” wrote Michael Albers, Oath’s VP of Communications Product, said in a blog post. “You likely remember the CD, your first screenname, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organized your buddy lists.”

AOL launched its instant messaging service in 1997. Since then, the iPhone, other messaging apps and social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, have risen in popularity.

“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” Albers wrote.

While many people had stopped using AIM years ago, they — including tech executives and celebrities — mourned the looming death of the yellow running man.

Some posted about their first screen names or the away messages they wrote as teenagers and kids in the 1990s.

Photo: A screenshot from AIM’s tweet announcing the service’s shutdown on Dec. 15.


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