'Goodbye': AOL’s AIM to Sign Off for Good

All good things come to an end, the provider said. (Published Friday, Oct. 6, 2017)

Internet service provider AOL will shut down its once-ubiquitous instant messaging service AIM in December, the company announced on Twitter Friday.

"All good things come to an end. On Dec. 15, we'll bid farewell to AIM. Thank you to all our users! #AIMemories," the company tweeted, including a link to a press release announcing the the end of the service.

"If you were a 90’s kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was a huge part of your life. You likely remember the CD, your first screenname, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organized your buddy lists," wrote Michael Albers, vice president of communications product at Oath, the parent company of AOL.

"AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed," Albers added. "As a result we’ve made the decision that we will be discontinuing AIM effective December 15, 2017."

AIM became a ubiquitous messaging service for early internet users in the late 1990s, with its signature sounds, quirks and personalized profiles. A computerized voice welcomed users with a "welcome" when they signed on, and an abrupt "goodbye" when they signed off.

The first instant message was sent in 1993 by a future AOL executive, Quartz reported

"Don’t be scared … it is me. Love you and miss you," Ted Leonsis wrote to his wife, according to the report.

She responded: "Wow … this is so cool!"