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AOL messenger finally killed off

by on09 October 2017

End of an era

One of the first chat apps to go mainstream AOL Instant Messanger is to be officially retired in December.

The chat app, which belonged to a more fun internet age will go offline on December 15th after starting its service in 1997. AIM dominated online chat in North America at the turn of the century with its rival ICQ. But with SMS and social apps like Facebook and WhatsApp having taken over, AOL is giving up.

Writing in its bog, a spokesAOL said: “We know there are so many loyal fans who have used AIM for decades; and we loved working and building the first chat app of its kind since 1997. Our focus will always be on providing the kind of innovative experiences consumers want. We’re more excited than ever to focus on building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products.”

The move follows the cut-off of third-party apps back in March. Now AIM’s official MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android apps are being pulled.

People can download images they sent until December 15th, but the app’s download links will start disappearing now. There’s no way to save or port your buddy list so good-bye 1990s friends.

Initially, chat was built into AOL desktop which battled it out with Compuserve with free CD wars. AIM launched as a standalone app in 1997. Its rivals were ICQ, and messengers from Yahoo and Microsoft MSN.  Google’s GChat and Facebook took over and AIM never made it to mobile.

There are not many users left and AIM usage had sunk to single digit millions of users, and the cost of AOL keeping the OSCAR messaging protocol was too much.


Last modified on 09 October 2017
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