AOL has announced that it will be discontinuing AIM effective December 15, 2017. In a post titled “One Last Away Message”, VP of Communications Product at Oath, Michael Albers, revealed the sad news. The reason for discontinuing AIM is because they way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed.
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. 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.
The post continues by noting the use of AIM in popular culture, including in “You’ve Got Mail” (starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks) and in the “Sex and the City” TV series. In the late 1990s, the world had never seen anything like AIM. Today, both technology and social media have changed, and so has how we communicate with each other.
On a help page, AOL says it is excited to focus on building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products. It also makes it clear that there currently is not a replacement product available for AIM.
Current users of AIM can continue to use it until the morning of December 15, 2017. It is possible to view and save your chat history.
AOL says that in some cases, the ability to do that may depend on whether you previously disabled the option to save a copy of your chats on your computer, or if you or your buddy selected the “Go off the record” option. If you want to save your chat log, you must do it before December 15, 2017. It is not possible to save or export your Buddy List.