AOL is shutting down its instant messenger and 90s kids are reminiscing

Before texting, there was AOL's instant messenger.


AOL has announced it is closing down AIM – the instant messenger programme popular in the 90s and early 2000s.

Back in its heyday, AOL Instant Messenger was extremely popular – boasting 100 million registered users back in 2001.

You needed a CD to use it, and in the days of dial-up internet, you probably had to wrestle with whoever was on the phone to get online.

People started sharing their memories of the instant messenger that would make or break friendships all those years ago.

It was the place to be if you’d forgotten what your homework was or wanted the chance to chat to your school crush.

And what about those all-important screen names?

And those cryptic away messages that really put your point across.

Eventually, the software was overtaken by texting, which was then largely replaced by apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Michael Albers, VP of communications product at Oath – which owns AOL, said: “If you were a 90s kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was a huge part of your life.”

“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed.”

AOL says you’ve still got time to download your chat history, if you want to archive those embarrassing teenage memories.

And if you’re just feeling nostalgic, you have until the December 15 to log on, but after that AIM will be no more.

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