Full Version: R.I.P: AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) Ends its 20-Year Run Today
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Posted by: Timothy Tibbetts on 12/15/2017 07:32 AM [  Comments ]
Times change and today marks the end of an era as AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) ends its 20-year run today and all personal data will be deleted. 

Much like anything out there today, AIM has been replaced by mobile devices as well as competition from monsters including Facebook Messenger, Slack, Twitter, Instagram, Google Chat, WhatsApp, and others.

This is usually the part where we tell you about AIM, but that seems pointless. It leaves us a little sad that the younger generation in a few years will give you a blank stare if you ask them if they'd heard of AIM.

For a little history, AOL Instant Messenger was initially integrated into AOL Desktop in May of 1997 and later released as a stand-alone download by America Online (AOL).

Way back in 1999, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger were the main competition with AIM and AIM got into a battle with Microsoft blocking MSN Messenger for trying to log into their own and AIM's protocol servers simultaneously.

In 2006, AIM had 52% of the market share of messaging apps. I doubt anyone saw the iPhone introduction in 1997, but they did release a mobile version in 2008, so it's not like they didn't try.

In 2011, it's believed that GMail and social networking took a massive bite leaving AIM with only 0.73% of the market and that was installations, not users. Developers were also unable to convince the suit and ties that free was the future. Guess they should have listened.

On March 3, 2012, AOL ended the employment of AIM's development staff while leaving it active with help support still provided. Sure enough, that's the last month AIM was updated here on MajorGeeks. Finally, on October 5, 2017, it was announced that the AIM service would be discontinued on December 15.

The timeline makes sense to most of us. For us, we haven't used it for over 5 years fitting into the decline.