AOL Instant Messenger Is Dead (And Why It Mattered)

After a twenty-year run, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) closed its doors for the last time on Friday. There were a few news articles about this back in October, but it feels like it happened suddenly–I haven’t heard anything about it in a while, but as promised, it’s gone now.

On one hand, it’s not surprising that no one was talking about AIM. To be honest, when I saw the news of the closing back in October my first thought was, “Wait, AIM is still around?” But on the other hand, I think AIM was a meaningful part of the earlier days of the Internet, and from that perspective it’s sad to see it finally go.

I’m not really intending this to be a eulogy for AIM, because I think writing eulogies for non-living things is kind of weird, but this news did spark me to think about my own history with AIM, so here goes!

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