AIM, or AOL Instant Messenger, was one of the first instant messaging applications to gain massive popularity. Launched in the early days of the Internet, AIM served users for twenty years before it was discontinued in 2017.
- Instant messaging platform for Windows
- Add contacts and chat in real time
- No AOL account needed for use
- Available for some Android mobile devices
- Easy to Install and Use
- Fun and simple instant messaging app
- Free to download for computers and mobile devices
- Discontinued in 2017
- Not as functional as other IM programs like Messenger
- Easy for others to see when users were online
Almost everyone recognizes the iconic Running Man that served as the mascot for AIM. AOL Instant Messenger was the standard for instant messaging for almost 20 years. It was easy to use, effective, and gave Internet users a way to communicate with friends and family in real time. Some would even argue that AIM was essential in creating the global community that we associate with the Internet. At one time, AIM was used by 52% of individuals who sent instant messages. It's first incarnation was as an add-on to the America Online Internet service. The only way to use the messenger was to use AOL. When individuals logged into their AOL account, a small box would appear in the bottom corner of the screen. This box would show a list of contacts, and it also indicated whether or not the contact was online. In the early days, many people did not understand how to hide their availability. Your friends and family could easily determine when you were web surfing. Later, AIM was developed as a download for Windows that did not require AOL. This was done in response to competition from other enterprises such as Yahoo and Microsoft. AIM began to be developed for mobile platforms in 2008, but this was the beginning of the end. Other chat programs simply passed AIM in what they could offer. It was decided in 2017 that AIM would be discontinued. The number of users had been declining steadily in recent years. Many considered the sunset of AIM to be the end of an era.