LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — AOL Instant Messenger, the program that gave rise to online chat and countless abbreviations and acronyms, died Friday.

AIM was 20.

Michael Albers, VP of Communications Product at Oath, the new company made up of Verizon, Yahoo and AOL properties, in October told reporters that the service would end in December.

Albers remembered AIM fondly. “It tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed.”

At that time, it was decided AIM would come to an end Dec. 15.

AIM started as a standalone app in 1997. It quickly became wildly popular within the AOL desktop program.

Competitors like ICQ, and messengers from Yahoo and Microsoft MSN,  became popular as well but didn’t threaten AIM’s popularity. Usage began to slow when Google launched GChat in 2006, which was discontinued earlier this year for Google Hangouts.

Facebook Messenger, with 2 billion users to download the mobile app, all but guaranteed other chat programs’ demise.

AIM is survived by AOL and AOL Mail. AIM was pre-deceased by GChat, Friendster, iTunes Ping and Yahoo Buzz.

MySpace declined to comment on the loss. Slack did not return a DM.

No information was given for a memorial service.


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