The father of all instant messaging, AOL, is shutting down. The news of its closure hit our screens without warning, and the effect is still overwhelming. The knowledge of its closure hits close to home as it brings back great childhood memories. AOL is set to shut down on the 15th of December, 2017.
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was created in 1997 and gained a lot of popularity through the 1990’s to mid-2000s. This fame, however, did not last too long due to the outcrop of more popular Instant Messengers. During its time, AOL Instant Messenger was a significant competitor with strong instant messengers like Yahoo! Messenger and the likes. With the introduction of Gmail, text messaging and other social networks, AIM lost most of its patronage. Despite this paradigm shift, the instant messenger still has some die-hard fans that own account with them and even always use it.
Wanna feel old? AIM is dead. pic.twitter.com/yq0IL7Dw9L
— Madison M. K. (@4evrmalone) October 6, 2017
AOL Instant Messenger was an intricate part of our childhood especially for those of us that were born in the 90’s. It was also a bridge that connected our parents to their group of friends. This instant messenger was quite popular in North America, and during its time, it served its users well. It brings back memories of our only reliable means of connecting with our loved ones and crushes too. As with all instant messenger platforms, its user base comprised mainly of teenagers and young adults.
AIM was the beginning of an era of technology creativity towards communication and a step towards better wireless messaging for all. It paved the way for the newer platforms we enjoy today. AIM reminded some of how they made their first move to the love of their life and fills others with the nostalgia of their first dance with the girl they asked to prom through series chats. It was also the hub to find out the latest juicy gist like who was dating who, who was fighting with whom or which couple just broke up.
Irrespective of all these memories, this instant messenger has been thrown under the carpet by many of its users. However, after this news, many users have tried logging back into their old accounts successfully. The list of your past chat buddies and your info remains available. The only information that is not accessible is your chat history, which a lot of people would have loved to view again. All these data will be completely wiped out on the set date of closure. Their closure does not mean they are entirely seizing their service provision to customers, but instead, they will be introducing a new range of products to the market. Users can delete their old account if they are super conscious about security.
We must appreciate AOL Instant Messenger for all those memorable experiences we had as teenagers and for the open path they created for other messengers like Facebook and Whatsapp. Thank you for the bonds you help create and fun times you helped us enjoy.