Goodbye: AOL discontinuing pioneering Instant Messenger

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2010, file photo, an AOL logo is seen in the company's office in Hamburg, Germany. AOL announced on Oct. 6, 2017, that it will discontinue its once-popular Instant Messenger platform on Dec. 15(AP Photo/Axel Heimken, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — AOL has announced that it is discontinuing its pioneering Instant Messenger chat platform after 20 years of service.

An article on AOL’s website posted Friday says AOL Instant Messenger will be discontinued on Dec. 15. AOL says it’s shutting down the program because its focus is “on building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products.”

Users can still use the program until Dec. 15. After that date, users won’t be able to sign in.

AOL Instant Messenger was wildly popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s and claimed more than 100 million registered users in 2001. Its popularity as a communication tool waned amid the rise of text messaging, Google Chat and social networking sites.

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