Likely the very first non-email application you ever used to speak with your friends and relatives is about to be shut down for good, AOL Instant Messanger, aka AIM, has been all but slashed entirely from the AOL family. This application’s 40 employees in charge of development as well as everything outside of basic maintenance has been let go entirely. While support staff for the ecosystem will remain, no future upgrades to the software will exist from this point on.
The original chat program that took hold of what seemed like the entire western world throughout the 1990s and early 2000s will be sorely missed by those inventors of such epic phrases as LOL and LMFAO. Many replacements have popped up since the birth of the AIM platform including Skype and Facebook’s own chat service, these rendering AOL’s version of person to person “instant” chat all but extinct.
These layoffs come amid a few other waves of similar person-cutting from the ranks of AOL in recent months, this leading the public and analysts to predict service cuts (such as these) to occur sooner than later. With the death of AIM comes the movement of the social networking world past the most basic form it took (in a popular sense), and here we move on to the much more dominant social network world of Facebook, Google+, and straight up text messaging with smartphones. Will you miss AOL’s instant messenger platform when it gives its final kiss goodbye?