R.I.P. to AIM

There comes a time when we all have to wave ‘goodbye’ to an era. Recently, Aol Instant Messenger announced that they will no longer provide their services starting December 15 of this year.

AIM was the first online messaging service that took the online world by storm! Created by AOL in 1997, the instant messaging service completely transformed the way North America communicated. AIM was used amongst the business world as well as for a more social aspect among younger crowds. Users were able to create their own usernames to identify by. Teenagers and college students used the application as a social tool to communicate with friends and flirt with their crush. In professional  environments, such as Wall Street, AIM was a main form of communication to conduct business. The application spread quickly, and eventually contained a whopping 18 million users. However, competition erupted when Microsoft created MSN Messenger. MSN Messenger gave their users the ability to communicate with AIM users. AOL, of course, did not approve of this; they retaliated by altering the AIM system to where it blocked the MSN Messenger. With that, AIM dominated the instant messaging world within the United States, while Microsoft had more users outside of the U.S. borders.

Fast forward to 2011, with the introduction of Gmail and Google Chat, AOL found AIM usage rapidly decreasing. When texting became popularized along with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, AIM was at its lowest point, with its market share at 0.73%. Unfortunately, in 2013, AOL announced that the AIM developing staff was going to be eradicated.

As of December 15, 2017 all photos and messages on AIM will be nonexistent. Users have until then to reminisce their past as well as save chats, files, and photos they deem valuable and wave “goodbye” to an era that we shall never forget.