With the development of more advanced Instant Messaging Apps like the the likes of Whatsapp, BBM etc AOL may no doubt be termed outdated but the truth is, AOL was part of our very first social experience on the internet. And to say the fact it was so popular in the 90s to late 2000s.
It can be described as the Whatsapp of today having been on for two decades. But AOL will cease to operate as from 15th of December 2017 having acknowledged that people now communicate in new ways online.
“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” writes Michael Albers, communications products VP at Oath (the Verizon behemoth that consumed AOL).
This is obviously true with SMS and social apps like Facebook and WhatsApp having conquered chat.
Daniel Sinclair tipped the shut-down to us, which follows the cut-off of third-party apps back in March. Now AIM’s official MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android apps are being pulled off life support.
“From setting the perfect away message to that familiar ring of an incoming chat, AIM will always have a special place in our hearts,” AOL wrote to users in an email. People can download images they sent until December 15th, but the app’s download links will start disappearing now. Unfortunately there’s no way to save or port your buddy list.
Initially the chat experience built into AOL desktop, AIM launched as a standalone app in 1997. Its iconic Away Messages were the ancestor to the modern tweet and status update. It battled for supremacy with competitors like ICQ, and messengers from Yahoo and Microsoft MSN. But eventually text messaging, Google’s GChat and Facebook took over, while AIM never fully figured out the shift to mobile. That led to AOL’s fall from grace, going from being valued at $224 billion in today’s money to just $4.4 billion when it was sold to Verizon in 2015. For context on the business AOL let slip away, WhatsApp sold that same year to Facebook for more than $19 billion.