AOL says farewell to AIM, its popular instant messenger service, after 20 years

AOL has posted their final away message in what could be considered the end of an era. 

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The tech company announced Friday it would be discontinuing its pioneering Instant Messenger chat platform after 20 years of service.

AOL’s website posted the statement saying AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) would be shutting down on Dec. 15. AOL said it was ending the service to better focus on “building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products.”

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After Dec. 15., AIM users won't be able to sign into their accounts.

The statement also paid homage to its success in the late 1990s, including being referenced in HBO’s “Sex and the City” and the 1998 film, “You’ve Got Mail.”

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AIM was extremely popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The service had more than 100 million registered users in 2001. Its popularity as a go-to communication tool decrease following the rise of text messaging, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp and social media messaging services such as Facebook Messenger.

The news was trending on Twitter Friday morning with many social media users paying homage to the service and reminiscing using the tool as a primary messaging service. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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