AOL Instant Messenger shuts down after serving millions of users since 1997, ending the use of the pioneering chat app that paved the way to SMS….
American Online might be a distant memory for some. But, it did bring a host of familiar (albeit revamped or morphed) features to the web browsing experience. AOL announced it is discontinuing AIM or AOL Instant Messenger, effective December 15th 2017.
“We know there are so many loyal fans who have used AIM for decades; and we loved working and building the first chat app of its kind since 1997,” AOL wrote on the AIM help page. “Our focus will always be on providing the kind of innovative experiences consumers want. We’re more excited than ever to focus on building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products.”
AOL Instant Messenger Shuts Down after 20 Years
Daniel Sinclair first tipped TechCrunch off to this development. The move follows the company’s discontinuation of third-party apps back in March. Now, AIM support for MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android will cease in mid-December.
However, users can still download sent images until that cutoff date, although sent links are now disappearing. Unfortunately, there is no option to save or transfer buddy lists.
Initially, the legacy chat app debuted in AOL desktop. Then, in 1997, AIM became a standalone app. Eventually, SMS or short-messaging-service, Google GChat, Yahoo messaging, and MSN messaging, outperformed it. At the time, AOL enjoyed a worth of $224 billion in today’s money to just $4.4 billion when it sold to Verizon in 2015. By comparison, WhatsApp sold the same year to Facebook for over $19 billion.
Just this spring, back in March, an insider and former employee told Ars Technica AIM usage had fallen into single-digit millions. This is little wonder as consumers continue to suffer from app fatigue.
Fewer the .01 percent of all mobile apps will return a positive ROI, being financially successful by 2018. Approximately 52 percent of all mobile apps lose at least half their peak users after just three months. And, only 1 in 10,000 apps developed break-even or are profitable.