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!

Continue Reading

Google, Please Don’t Kill Hangouts

I may not be the biggest fan of Google, but I have to say that Google Hangouts is one of the best messaging apps I’ve ever used. It’s available on every platform, so I can start a conversation on my computer and continue it on my phone if I step away from my desk. It supports group chats and person-to-person chats equally well. Most importantly, it’s simple to send animated gifs and pictures (which we all know is the only way to truly express yourself online).

So why does it seem like Google is killing it? Why can’t we have nice things?

Continue Reading