kthxbai: AOL Instant Messenger is being turned off on December 15th

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kthxbai: AOL Instant Messenger is being turned off on December 15th

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If you still have an AOL Instant Messenger account, now might be a good time to start saying your goodbyes. In ten weeks—the morning of December 15th to be precise—AIM will be shut down. The writing has been on the wall for some time—in March, AIM stopped supporting MD5 authentication, cutting off many third-party IM clients (like Adium) from accessing the service.

Now the plan is to disable all AIM services other than @aim.com e-mail addresses, according to a help page. Any images, attachments, or transcripts need to be saved before then because everything is being deleted.

Still, the service has had a pretty good run. Twenty years is a very long time on the Internet—just ask Myspace—and it has outlasted its biggest rival, which was killed off in 2014. Launched in 1997, AIM was the instant messaging platform of the Internet’s golden years, spawning an entire new dialect of chatspeak that remains with us today.  But nothing lasts forever, and the rise of the smartphone and platforms like WhatsApp have supplanted IM as the way most of us communicate.

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20 years is a long time on the Internet.

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