Thanks For The Memories: AOL Instant Messenger Shuts Down For Good Today

"So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye." Back in October, it was announced that AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) would be shutting down for good later this year. Well, that December 15th execution date has arrived, and it's time to say goodbye to what was once an extremely popular way for friends and families to communicate at the dawn of the internet age.

AIM managed to stick around for two decades, but it hasn't really been relevant for half of those years. The rise of smartphones and text messaging left AIM by the wayside. In addition, modern alternatives like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat have flourished thanks to constant innovation.


"If you were a 90’s kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was a huge part of your life," wrote Michael Albers, VP of Communications Product for Oath, back in October. "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."

I was an 80s kid, but all of the above still applies to me. AIM holds a special place in my digital heart and was in indispensable tool during my college days (I don't want to know how many hours I wasted chatting about absolute nothing – Seinfeld style – with friends and classmates).

Here are a few notes about the AIM shutdown that will occur later today. If you for some reason rocking an email address, you can still use it to send and receive email. Any data that you currently have associated with AIM will be deleted after today. Any images still lingering in AIM were supposed to be purged by Oath this morning, and today is the last day to save your chat logs.

AIM may be going out to pasture, but our need for social interaction over the internet can easily be fulfilled these days with the aforementioned messaging clients and the likes of Facebook and Twitter.