Web company AOL announced the end of an era on Friday: Come December, the company’s groundbreaking Instant Messenger program will be retired.
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was the first chat application of its kind when it launched in 1997.
“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” said Michael Albers, vice president of communications products at Oath, AOL’s parent company. “As a result we’ve made the decision that we will be discontinuing AIM effective December 15, 2017.”
Users will no longer be able to sign into AIM starting Dec. 15, and all data associated with the app will be deleted thereafter, according to AOL. Users can save their images, files and chat history before then.
People who have email addresses under the aim.com domain name will still be able to access email as usual, according to AOL.
Company officials said in an FAQ about the change that no replacement app is in the works.
“Thank you to all of our AIM users,” Albers said. “We are more excited than ever to continue building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products for users around the world.”
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