AOL Instant Messenger Officially Discontinuing This December After Twenty Years Online

by

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.


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.

Tag: AOL

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
40 months ago
RIP to the best part of Middle School.

Edit: Let me rephrase that, literally the only mildly enjoyable part of Middle School.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
The '90s kid in me sheds a tear.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
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

Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
Make no mistake: AOL was a pioneer in both email and texting. We laugh now, but back then, it changed the world in a way that almost certainly left Steve Jobs impressed.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
That's kind of sad, but I haven't used it for years and I used to use it for hours at a time almost every day, so that tells the story of why it's going I guess.

Thanks for the memories, AIM.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
now AOL will get a small up-tick in logins after this announcement
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

HomePod Mini Cable is Non-Detachable, Ends With USB-C Connector for Use With Included 20W Power Adapter

Friday October 16, 2020 12:45 pm PDT by
While not detailed in the tech specs, MacRumors can confirm that Apple's new HomePod mini features a non-detachable power cable that ends with a USB-C connector for use with the 20W power adapter included in the box. With the switch to USB-C, the HomePod mini could potentially be powered by a wider range of devices and peripherals, ranging from MacBooks to USB-C battery packs with enough...

Samsung Mocks Apple for Ditching Power Adapters With iPhone 12 Lineup

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Samsung on its social channels is mocking Apple for removing the power adapter from the iPhone 12 lineup and other iPhone models, pointing out the fact that the Samsung Galaxy smartphones continue to ship with a power adapter. "Included with your Galaxy," reads a Samsung Facebook post that features a picture of a power adapter. Apple notably is no longer providing power adapters or...

New Google App Feature Lets You Hum a Song to Search for It

Saturday October 17, 2020 4:05 am PDT by
Google has added a new feature to its Search app that allows you to hum a song that's stuck in your head, and then use the company's machine learning algorithm to try and identify it. In the Google app or using the Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say "what's this song?" or click the "Search a song" button. Then start humming the tune for 10-15 seconds. When you're done, the...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...

iPhone 12 Pro Pre-Orders Already Selling Out With Delivery Times Pushing Into November

Friday October 16, 2020 6:35 am PDT by
Apple today opened pre-orders for the 6.1-inch models of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro through its website and the Apple Store app, and estimated delivery times are already slipping into November for select configurations in the United States. Customers ordering a SIM-free/Pacific Blue/128GB version of the iPhone 12 Pro, for example, are already facing an estimated delivery window of...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Apple Offering Free AirPods With iPhone 11 Purchase in India as Part of Diwali Celebration

Friday October 16, 2020 12:35 pm PDT by
Apple today launched a new Diwali promotion in India that will see the company providing customers with a set of AirPods with the purchase of any iPhone 11 model. The new iPhone 12 models are not part of the promotion. Apple is offering the standard AirPods With Charging Case free with purchase, but customers can choose to upgrade to the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case or the AirPods Pro....