Stuart Breckenridge

AIM to be Discontinued

Michael Albers:

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

The first internet messaging client I ever used was AIM as it was bundled with one of the many AOL CDs. While my friends and I quickly moved to MSN Messenger — which itself was discontinued in 2013 after morphing into Window Live Messenger — throughout school and university, it was AIM that started everything off.

These days I use Skype for Business at work. It holds up OK in a desktop context but it doesn’t translate well as a mobile experience. The way we communicate has, indeed, changed.


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