If you have an AIM email address, not to fret, your service will continue as normal, but all other data and information on AOL Instant Messenger will be deleted. AIM fought for users against competitors like MSN Messenger, which shut down in 2014, and Yahoo Instant Messenger, which discontinued service in 2016 but later revamped with the same name.
AIM began as part of the America Online package in the 1990s but became a standalone app in May 1997. It introduced the concept of a "buddy list" of frequent communicators and respondents, as well as the Internet's first emoticons, 16 built-in variations of the durable Smiley Face.
But AIM, and AOL as a whole, fell on hard times as technology advanced and SMS grew in popularity.
AIM was also popular with users because of the existence of countless of third-party clients, many of which offered some additional functionality, or aimed to merge multiple chat and messaging services in one app. And you couldn't walk down any dorm hall in the evening without hearing the distinctive sounds of messages being sent and received. In 2012, AOL disbanded its team of developers for AIM and effectively discontinued all development of the platform after 15 years. Movies like "You've Got Mail" and TV shows like "Sex in the City" captivated us all. If you have images tied to AIM, AOL urges you to manually save them to your computer.
On Dec. 15, AIM will be signing off for the last time-and the internet is pretty dang devastated.
"In the late 1990's, the world had never seen anything like it", Michael Albers, VP of Communications Product at Oath, wrote in the announcement.