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AOL Instant Messenger to Be Discontinued in December

Image: AOL Instant Messenger to Be Discontinued in December
AOL is discontinuing its Instant Messenger service in December.

By    |   Friday, 06 Oct 2017 02:04 PM

AOL Instant Messenger, a part of many Internet users' first experience with social media, will be discontinued forever, Oath announced Friday.

Recognizing there are plenty of new ways for people to communicate online since AOL's Instant Messenger, or AIM, dominated the internet in the late 1990s, Michael Albers, the communications products vice president at Oath, acknowledged the "cultural shift."

"AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed," Albers said in a statement titled "One Last Away Message." "As a result we've made the decision that we will be discontinuing AIM effective Dec. 15, 2017. We are more excited than ever to continue building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products for users around the world."

AOL Instant Messenger became ingrained in pop culture, playing roles in movies such as "You've Got Mail" in 1998 and the hit HBO series "Sex and the City," which ran from 1998 to 2004. AIMs "yellow running man" icon had become one of the most recognized symbols on the internet, but had its roots in symbols 50 years before its time.

"The (running man) design came about because I was spending a lot of time looking at 1940s and '50s postwar American logos and trademarks," JoRoan Lazaro, the icon's designer told The Atlantic in 2014.

"If you go back to '40s and '50s logos and trademarks, you'll see that there's actually quite a few men that were used — a silhouette that either had curved legs or angular legs and a round head, in addition to the ones that looked quite a bit more stylized or looked really, really human. The running man was really inspired by those," Lazaro added.

In the statement about AIM's demise, Albers pointed to the good ol' days where the service appeared to be a part of everyday life.

"If you were a '90s kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was a huge part of your life," Albers wrote. "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."

Many on social media spoke fondly of AIM.

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AOL Instant Messenger, a part of many Internet users' first experience with social media, will be discontinued forever, Oath announced Friday.
aol, instant messenger, discontinued
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2017-04-06
Friday, 06 Oct 2017 02:04 PM
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