The end of an era: AIM is signing off after 20 years

Rebecca Smith
The messaging service kick-started the barrage of internet speak
The messaging service kick-started a barrage of internet speak (Source: AOL)

Tissues at the ready, for the nostalgic among us, because it's the end for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).

That's right, the chat programme that became a mainstay among a generation to connect them to their friends is being put to bed.

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Its parent company is giving people some time to prepare for the loss though - AIM will be shut down on 15 December after 20 years. So, you can still log in (if you remember your password...) for one last look at your buddy list, but the data is getting wiped just ahead of Christmas.

Despite being the go-to instant messaging platform for a period, it has since lost relevance what with the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and the general onslaught of social media and rapid development of smartphones.

In a post online, Michael Albers, the vice-president of communications product at AOL's parent company Oath, said:

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

He added: "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. You likely remember the CD, your first screenname, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organised your buddy lists."

In April, it was announced that Yahoo would be renamed Oath as incoming owner Verizo completed its $4.8bn acquisition of the tech giant. Verizon combined Yahoo and AOL into the new company.

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