AOL Instant Messenger Turned Off Today

AOL Instant Messenger

If you are a member of the “old” Internet, i.e. from the 90’s, then you probably remember AOL Instant Messenger. AOL Instant Messenger used to be the way to keep in touch with your friends and family. America On-Line (AOL) was smart in breaking Instant Messenger out to its own app when they saw the writing on the wall. That writing got dark for AOL and to their credit, they did not ignore it. Today, December 15th, 2017, AOL Instant Messenger was turned off and is no more.

For me, my first “real” experience with the Internet came with America On-Line’s service. Those “X hundred hours of Free Service” discs were just too hard to ignore. Sure, AOL offered a limited option when it came to the Internet, at least early on, it was still access that was the one thing the fledgling Internet user needed – ease of use. Sure, today, AOL looks beyond archaic and users may wonder why users would pay a monthly fee to be “locked” into an all in one stop shop for news, weather, etc. Instant Messenger was one reason. The same reason so many people use Facebook. You want to be where your friends and family are. For a long time that place was America On-Line.

What is interesting is, besides Instant Messenger, most of the sites that dominated in the late 90’s and earlier this century, seemingly were modeled after the style that AOL offered millions of users. Instant Messenger was the one thing that these sites could not offer their users though, and arguably is what kept people paying a premium price for AOL to have access to.

I know I spent countless hours of the 90’s on a computer talking with friends and arguing over video games or movies using Instant Messenger. Even after I gave up AOL as my Internet Service Provider (ISP) I was still able to use Instant Messenger thanks to AOL rolling it out to the Internet by allowing Instant Messenger to be downloaded and used for free (no paid AOL account required).

Today, AOL pulled the plug on not only Instant Messenger but a part of history for many people. We still have the memories though.

Source: AOL Twitter and Tumblr

Carl Williams

It is time gaming journalism takes its rightful place as proper sources and not fanboys giving free advertising. If you wish to support writers like Carl please use the links below.

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