RIP: AOL Shuts Down AIM, Millennials Swap Memories While Weeping On Twitter
Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon that owns AOL, has shut down AOL Instant Messenger.
Launching in 1997, AIM served as the original DM and way to curate individual's brands via away messages.
End Of An Era
In a news report from Quartz, it was said that AIM was the first taste of what it would feel like to be connected to your "followers" while you're on the go.
"For many who went through school in the late ’90s and early 2000s, [AIM] was a first taste of the always-connected lifestyle we now live. It was a fight to get hold of the family computer so you could log in to AIM and chat with the same friends you probably just left after school," the article read, citing a time when people had a dial-up connection via their phone line and couldn't be on the house phone at the same time.
When news broke about the messenger service becoming obsolete, millennials took to Twitter to share their favorite memories using the Twitter hashtag: #AIMemories.
— Airz (@AirzCSK) December 15, 2017
Setting our final away message because AIM, alongside our teenage alter-ego, is shutting down forever tonight. ~Don't CrY because it’s over, sMiLe because it happened.~ #AIMemories pic.twitter.com/10xCydV2e3 — Bumble (@bumble_app) December 15, 2017
— Double R (@RoddyRocks_) December 15, 2017
I told me wife for the first time that I "liked her" in high school on aim. I also chatted with some chat bots about God. Bringing the gospel to all creation. #AIMemories #AIM “AIM has officially been laid to rest”https://t.co/nxn0AQM6st — Jordan Sutton (@JordanGSutton) December 15, 2017
AIM was essential during my middle and high school years to communicate with my friends (1999-2006). I used to hop on first thing when I got home while watching TRL. #AIMemories https://t.co/3Ojy7XSkzk
— Yanick Saila-Ngita (@wunderkind87) December 15, 2017
Original Ghosting Method
As people spoke about finding the loves of their lives on AIM or finding the right song lyrics, others shared how AIM was the first way people started "ghosting" each other.
"Then there were the perils of going invisible: making yourself look as though you were offline when you really weren’t. It was a great way to avoid a friend you didn’t feel like talking to, unless they somehow managed to find out you were ghosting them in the era before “ghosting” existed," journalist Aja Romano wrote for the Vox.
As BoyCrzyLola86, I spent hours curating the perfect AIM profile and picking the best song lyrics for away messages. Haven't used it in years, but still the end of an era. #AIMemories — Bridget Bonner Shane (@bridgetjshane) December 15, 2017
R.I.P. AIM. Today, I'm remembering my middle school days that consisted of crafting the perfect away message and browsing for icons that fit my brand. Perhaps it foreshadowed my social media career. Hmm... #AIMemories pic.twitter.com/8k4f4lHLXd — Emily Goldberg (@emgldbrg) December 15, 2017
Share the memories you had on AIM in the comments!