AIM or the AOL Instant Messenger is officially shutting down after two decades of existence. According to the press release announcing the news, this service will be discontinued close to the end of the year, on December 15.
The news might come as a surprise, especially to those that tie their first Internet days to it. However, the decision is reportedly not a sudden one. Some point out that the service’s cutting off third-party chat clients earlier this year was also a sign of this.
Say Goodbye to the AOL Instant Messenger
AIM was launched back in 1997 and will be discontinued before the year ends. AOL launched a support page concerning the shutdown of its Instant Messenger, in which it announced the exact date, set for December 15.
“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” says Michael Albers.
He is the VP of Communications, Product of Oath, which is Verizon’s unit that currently owns AOL. The company will reportedly look to focus on its “next generation” of products.
At least for the moment, AOL has yet to announce if it will release a replacement service. Still, the company did reveal that the AOL Instant Messenger will have its download links removed from the page. This is set to happen before the December discontinuation date, but an exact period has not been announced.
The discontinuation of AIM will mean the loss of the service’s Buddy Lost, of the users, and all other associated data. Nonetheless, users have the chance to save their chat logs and any files and media sent in AIM.
Also, people using @aim.com email addresses will not be affected by the closure. These will continue sending and receiving emails just “as usual”.
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