AOL Instant Messenger is finally saying "goodbye" to its fans and users. Our focus will always be on providing the kind of innovative experiences consumers want.
After two decades, AOL has announced it will be retiring its iconic AIM messenger as of December 15.
The company said users will be able to use the service until the cut-off date and they will be able to download and install copies of the application until a few days before its end-of-life date.
Michael Albers, the vice president of product communications at Oath, made the announcement on a new Tumblr called AIMemories. Time to share the nostalgia with us: What was your AIM username?
"AIM was one of the first and most successful instant messengers, widely used in the late '90s and even throughout the 2000s", wroteThe Verge's Jacob Kastrenakes. The once massively popular chat program's popularity has fallen quite significantly since the rise of smartphones and social media, but it has indeed maintained some users in recent years.
Of course, instant messaging became a lot easier with smart phones, as Apple's iPhone rose to power around the same time AIM began a downward spiral.
Prior to Verizon buying Yahoo, the wireless carrier purchased AOL for $4.4 billion in 2015. While the service started as one part of the more complete AOL Desktop suite (which included email and web browsing features), AOL later turned the service into its own standalone chat client.
The beloved chat service was so ubiquitous that it played a role in movies and TV shows like You've Got Mail (a product placement bonanza) and Sex in the City, as many will remember. "Thank you to all our users!" the service said on Twitter, along with an animation of its signature "running man" mascot.