AOL Instant Messenger has g2g ― forever.
The online messaging app, often referred to as just AIM, will be discontinued on Dec. 15, as Michael Albers, vice president of communications product at Oath, announced Friday.
“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. “As a result we’ve made the decision that we will be discontinuing AIM effective December 15, 2017.” (AOL is now part of Oath, which owns HuffPost.)
AIM was originally introduced as part of a chat app built into the AOL desktop. It launched on its own in 1997, and remained dominant even when competitors like Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger came along. But by 2011, Facebook and Google’s email chat, known as Google Chat or “Gchat” for short, had gained a significant edge.
“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,” Albers wrote. “You likely remember the CD, your first screenname, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organized your buddy lists.”
“In the late 1990’s, the world had never seen anything like it,” he added. “And it captivated all of us.”
Twitter users almost immediately began sharing their most cherished AIM memories. Others expressed shock that the application is actually still around.