Iconic AOL Instant Messenger to be killed off in December

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), the iconic messaging program, will shut down this year.

Similar to MSN Messenger, AIM was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and is remembered fondly by web users of a certain age.

Though news of the 20-year-old program’s impending demise is hardly surprising, the announcement has been greeted with outpourings of nostalgia and pangs of sadness.

“If you were a 90’s kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was a huge part of your life,” wrote Michael Albers, the vice president of communications products at Oath, in a blog post.

“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.

“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.

“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed.”

AOL Instant Messenger was created in 1997, and will be discontinued on 15 December 2017.

It managed to outlast MSN Messenger, its old instant messaging rival, which was shelved in 2014.

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