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AOL's AIM sets its away message... permanently

Now known as Oath, AOL says it will shut down its instant messenger service on Dec. 15 after 20 years.

Farewell, AIM. 

AOL Instant Messenger, a popular form of communication in the early days of the internet, goes dark on Dec. 15, AOL, now a unit of Verizon's Oath, said on Friday

AIM was once one of the dominant instant-messaging platforms on the internet, helped by the massive number of dialup subscribers using AOL internet service. After launching in 1997, it enjoyed its peak in the late '90s and early 2000s.

Now playing: Watch this: RIP AIM. AOL's messenger is logging off

But newer services offered by Google and others displaced AIM, and it lost most of its relevancy when users increasingly turned to their smartphones, which brought the rise of WhatsApp, Line, Facebook Messenger and a myriad of other services. 

Oath, which also now controls Yahoo, another star of the era when consumers were discovering the internet, said that it's shutting AIM down to focus on new products and that there would be no replacement for AIM. 

The e-mail domain will still work, Oath said.

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