The classic AOL service will soon be no more.
By Robert Marrujo:: For young edge lords of the late '90s and hip kids of the early-to-mid 2000s, AOL Instant Messenger was the number one way to chat with friends, strangers, enemies, and everything in between. With the advent of smart devices since 2007, however, the service has been less and less en vogue, to the point that it's now more of a curiosity than a vital means of communication. Sadly, time has finally caught up with the service and it will be discontinued come this winter.
AOL Instant Messenger will no longer be supported as of December 15, 2017. Michael Albers, who is VP of Communications Product at Oath, had this to say on Tumblr:
"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. We are more excited than ever to continue building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products for users around the world.
Thank you to all of our AIM users. And definitely stay tuned as we’re fired up to provide more products and experiences that people around the world love."
Truly, AIM was a major part of youth culture when the service was at its zenith. It had a sort of counter culture vibe to it that connected to many young people, sort of how Snapchat and Kick do these days. It's a sign of the times, but sad, nonetheless.
Were you an Instant Messenger user? What memories do you have from the service? Share with us in the comments an social media!