Oath (AOL's owner) announced Friday that it plans to discontinue its once mega-popular messaging service, AOL Instant Messenger. Starting December 15, the service will cease to exist on the internet and the company does not yet have a replacement.
The service began as AOL's in-client messaging for desktop and became its own entity in 1997, making landline phones useless for a generation of tweens, teens, and college students. Earlier this year AIM cut off most third-party access to the service.
"AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed," said Oath VP of communications, Michael Albers. "We are more excited than ever to continue building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products for users around the world."
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