The curtain has finally been drawn on AOL Instant Messenger—the instant messaging app that held us spellbound back in the days. The instant messaging app was a hit back in the days; long before services like Facebook, iMessage and the likes became a part of our lives.
1997 was the magic year—and the app that won the hearts of many was AIM. This won’t mean so much to you if you are not 90’s kid; but the app so much paved way for what we now have—and that’s talking about Facebook Messenger and iMessage. It was ranked along with the now retired Yahoo Messenger; but will now be addressed in the past.
Michael Albers, Vice President of Communications Product at Oath — the Verizon subsidiary, went down memory lane. In a Tumbler post, he highlighted how AIM impacted and changed the lives of many in the 90s:
“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. You might also remember how characters throughout pop culture from “You’ve Got Mail” to “Sex and the City” used AIM to help navigate their relationships. In the late 1990’s, the world had never seen anything like it. And it captivated all of us.”
Albers, however, admitted that times have changed and technology has moved on from what it was in the 90s. People no longer communicated the way they did, and competition with far superior appeal has taken over the scene:
“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed. As a result we’ve made the decision that we will be discontinuing AIM effective December 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.”
So, what are the alternatives? Pulling the plug on AOL will almost certainly leave everyone of us with feelings of nostalgia; especially those born in the 90s, there are countless messaging apps pulling the strings right now.
Facebook Messenger needs no introduction—not with over 1 billion people already using the app to keep in touch with their loved ones. It is safe to say that the Facebook Messenger was also partly responsible for demise of AOL. It has evolved over the years, and will provide one of the most viable alternatives to the now rested AIM.
iMessage is owned by Apple, and offers one of the biggest platforms to keep your loved one very close to you. The app has evolved over the years, and has successfully held its own even in the face of stiff competition from Facebook and the likes.
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014, and has become the number one messaging app of choice for over 1 billion people across the world.