It’s The End Of An Era: AIM Is Shutting Down In December
Do you remember what your first screenname was?
You may not be familiar with the name Quantam Computer Services, but you are likely well aware of the company itself, which was renamed America Online in 1991. In fact, you’ve probably spent hours and hours of your life using AOL.
In 1996, AOL went from an hourly rate to a flat fee. The following year, AOL launched its instant messaging application. AOL Instant Messenger, better known as AIM, was the first app of its kind. Millions of users logged on to chat with friends and strangers all over the world.
However, an end of an era is nearing: On December 15, 2017, Oath, the company which now owns AOL, is discontinuing AIM.
Simply put, AIM is declining in popularity and Oath has decided to pull the plug. In 2001, had 100 million registered users around the globe. By 2012, that number dropped to 4 million and has continued to decline year after year.
If you still have an AIM account and want to save anything for posterity, now is the time to do it. You can right-click to save images and other files and you can also download your chat history. Once the messenger is shut down, those files will be gone for good.
The news of AIM’s demise is making many former users nostalgic, as noted by tweets using the hashtag #AIMemories.
Some attributed the app with laying the groundwork for their current social media skills:
AOL Instant Messenger’s ‘Away Message’ helped me become the Twitter user I am today. #AIMemories
— Joe Dupnik (@pileofdupnik) October 6, 2017
Or their typing abilities:
— pebes (@rtsbeaton) October 7, 2017
Others remember AIM for its ability to build—and end—relationships:
Do y'all remember when your crush went offline and you heard that door slam and it felt like it was crushing your heart? #AIMemories
— Jackie the Avocado 🥑🥠🍱 (@GeekyFriedRice) October 6, 2017
I met my first girlfriend on AIM. She turned out to be a 54-year-old man in Laos but still. #AIMemories
— R.D. Evans (@Oh_Robert_Evans) October 6, 2017
— Caroline Goggin (@CarolineGoggin) October 6, 2017
One former user fondly remembered the app with a salute to the AIM yellow running man icon:
— John (@JF0RTUNAT0) October 6, 2017
If the AIM news has you longing for a pop-up chat with an old friend or new acquaintance, you have some alternative options. Of course, you can use Facebook Messenger, Skype or WhatsApp. Believe it or not, ICQ is still around as well.
It’s time to take one last look at your chat history and set your final away message. Don’t be too sad.
You’ll always have the memories. Perhaps this former user said it best:
— Cody Allen (@codyal90) October 6, 2017