AOL Instant Messenger, the messaging service affectionately (and then officially) known as AIM, is heading for the knackers yard.
Today, AOL’s parent company Oath announced that the classic chat app will be discontinued on December 15 this year.
On Friday morning the firm notified users of the impending shutdown after 20 years.
A precursor to MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger, AIM arrived before Facebook made it its mission to swallow all other online communication methods whole.
At a time when texting friends still cost money (or at least part of an allowance) it enabled limitless chit chat for kids in the late 90s/early 2000s.
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“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,” wrote Michael Albers, VP of Communications Product at Oath.
“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.”
In the email sent out to remaining users, AOL wrote:
Dear AIM user,
We see that you’ve used AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) in the past, so we wanted to let you know that AIM will be discontinued and will no longer work as of December 15, 2017.
Before December 15, you can continue to use the service. After December 15, you will no longer have access to AIM and your data will be deleted. If you use an @aim.com email address, your email account will not be affected and you will still be able to send and receive email as usual.
We’ve loved working on AIM for you. From setting the perfect away message to that familiar ring of an incoming chat, AIM will always have a special place in our hearts. As we move forward, all of us at AOL (now Oath) are excited to continue building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products for users around the world.
You can visit our FAQ to learn more. Thank you for being an AIM user.
The AOL Instant Messenger team
The death of AIM comes after Microsoft killed MSN Messenger in 2014, following its purchase of Skype. it might surprise you but Yahoo Messenger is still up and running if you fancy some retro messaging kicks.
Will you miss AIM? Share your fondest memories with us on Twitter @TrustedReviews.