Irrespective of whatever value it had or didn’t have in the modern era of the Internet, AOL Messenger will always remain one of the most vital and revolutionary pieces of internet history and it truly is sad to see it go after 20 years of helping us connect to one another.
As of December 15th, 2017, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), the iconic and OG chat service which debuted in 1997 and grew insanely popular over the next half a decade, is shutting down.
Michael Albers, The VP of Product Communications at Oath – a Verizon subsidiary which owns AOL as well as Yahoo, said in a Tumblr post that he knows how important AIM was to a lot of people:
Like me, you most likely remember that CD with the software, setting up your very first screen name, how well thought out your messages were, and how you organized friends in your lists. Right now, you might be reminiscing about how you had to fight for time on the desktop computer at home in order to chat with friends when you were home from school… In the late 1990s (it debuted in 1997), the world had never seen anything like it. And it mesmerized all of us.
– Micheal Albers
Practically, I’m not sure how many people will be saddened by AIM’s demise seeing as I haven’t heard of anyone even mentioning it, let alone use it in the past couple of years. And that’s not very surprising given how today’s instant messenger market has so many offerings that are so much more sophisticated than the AIM ever was. That’s not a jab at the company in any sense, and for the record, I remember fondly of those endless hours during my early years that I spent on AOL Instant messenger a lot more than most of the conversations I’ve had on any of these other modern-day messengers.
End of the day, irrespective of whatever value it had or didn’t have in the modern era of the Internet, AOL Messenger will always remain one of the most vital and revolutionary pieces of internet history and it truly is sad to see it go after 20 years of helping us connect to one another.