The news undoubtedly does not comfort our ears; that the pioneer of chat app AOL Instant Messenger is all set to shut down soon. The app that has been rendering its chat services for about 20 years; and people who grew using this app has some unexplainable attachment with it.
The company announced it would no longer be available from December 15th, 2017. There is no denying the fact; that AIM had been dominating the online messaging service market in North America at the turn of the last century.
The fortune turns dark when the SMS and social apps like Facebook and WhatsApp started conquering online chat with their advanced technology and exceptional growth. AOL ends up giving up the battle with no as such predecided substitution.
“We know there are so many loyal fans who have used AIM for decades, and we loved working and building the first chat app of its kind since 1997,” AOL wrote on the AIM help page. “Our focus will always be on providing the kind of innovative experiences consumers want. We’re more excited than ever to focus on building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products.”
“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 inscribed to users in an email. People will be able to download images they sent until December 15th; but the app’s download links will begin disappearing now. Lamentably, there’s no way to preserve or transfer your friend list.
Initially, the chat experience built into AOL desktop, AIM originated as a standalone app back in 1997. Its most famous Away Messages were the precursor to the current tweet and status update. It strived for domination with rivals like ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, and Microsoft MSN. But ultimately, text messaging, Google’s GChat and Facebook pulled it back, while AIM failed to figure out the morph to mobile.
That caused AOL’s decline from being valued at $224 billion to only $4.4 billion; when Verizon acquired it in 2015.
In March, a former AOL representative said to Ars Technica that he evaluated AIM usage had dropped to single-digit millions of consumers; and the value of AOL retaining the OSCAR messaging protocol working grew too steep to maintain.
AIM became the domain that was hard for the parents to understand. It gave the feeling of privacy and freedom for the first time; like similar to getting your first very car but for the internet world.
As part of the fact, it was the first to made me mind that the social technology could actually change the way we interact; where I can proofread and edit my thoughts before I share it with the other person.
So, it does not feel good to farewell the pioneer of online chat, AOL and the one I have grown up using! It’s definitely not a GOOD bye!