AOL Instant Messenger (aka AIM) is probably the oldest Internet instant messaging service still in existence today, but that will soon change.
If you’re one of the millions of people worldwide who still use AIM to chat with friends and relatives you’ll need to migrate to something else before the end of the year.
I’ve had a feeling this day was coming for some time now since so many AIM users have switched to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and SnapChat in recent years.
For what it’s worth, AIM outlasted both the once hugely-popular Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger services, but now AOL has succumbed to the Facebook/WhatsApp/ShapChat steamroller as well.
AOL released a new help article this morning with the details of the impending shutdown. Here are the five most important takeaways from that article:
1 – The AIM service will be permanently shut down on December 15, 2017 but current users will be able to keep on using it until that date.
2 – AOL will begin removing all AIM download links before the shut-down date to prevent new users from downloading the app and signing up for the service.
3 – @aim.com email addresses will still work just fine even after the AIM service has been discontinued.
4 – Users’ images and files can be downloaded to their computers any time before the shut-down date. If you have files of your own stored on AIM’s servers you’ll find download instructions in the help article I linked to above.
5 – Depending on the version of the AIM app you’re using and the app’s current settings, you might be able to download your chat history as well. Again, refer to the help article I linked to above to determine whether you’ll be able to download your chat history.
In summary, after 20 years of service the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service will be shutting down for good on December 15, 2017.
You can continue using the app until the shut-down date, and if you want to you can download your files and photos to your local computer.
And if the stars are aligned just right you might be able to download your chat history as well.
Bonus tip: If you plan to switch from AIM to SnapChat, I recommend that you read this first.
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