29) Does Anyone Still Use AIM?

Q. Does anyone still use AIM (America Online Instant Messenger)?

A. Not really, unless said person is using Adium.

I logged onto AIM on my BlackBerry the other day.  I have about 250 buddies; only three were still online.  I sent each of them an IM, none of them responded, even after I told them that they were one of only 300 AIM users left in the world, which entitled them to a 500 dollar check upon completion of a 15 minute survey. 

Obviously this anecdotal evidence isn’t proof that AIM is no longer a viable social networking option, but I did find some statistics to back it up.  Some of the best evidence I found was this article from 2006.  If you don’t feel like clicking through, it puts the number of “active” AIM users at about 53 million.  Keep in mind this was five years ago, before Facebook had entered the instant messaging fray.  It’s very possible that that number has shrunk by at least half since then. Also, who knows how they calculated “active.”

I also found this 2007 article from Centerworks.com which supports the idea that AIM is dying.  According to that site, the number of unique visitors to AIM in February 2006 was 18,729 (I assume that’s per day).  In February 2007, the number was 13,547, a decrease of 28%.

Facebook, obviously, is one of the primary causes of this.  Facebook realized what AIM apparently didn’t; the average denizen of the internet is not looking for an interactive experience.  In other words, people would rather clandestinely look at people’s profiles than talk with them. The whole point of Facebook is to supplement the loneliness of one’s existence by forming pseudo-connections with a bunch of people they hardly interact with in real life.   Like this guy, I’m assuming:

 Pictured: Average Internet Guy

AIM is not a good tool for stalkers, to be honest.  No pictures, hardly any personal info, no knowledge of who is friends with who.  People don’t even use their own names; try piecing together who xxlonelygirl234567xx is using context clues in her away messages.  It just doesn’t work. Facebook supplemented AIM’s idea of a virtual community devoid of real interactions with the ability to post pictures, share links, create expansive profiles.  Text messaging took what AIM was actually useful for: short, impersonal messages.  Once Facebook started their own instant messaging service, it was like the Romans salting the earth. 

Not only did Zuckerberg and company completely destroy AIM, they created an instant messaging service that was ten times more efficient than AIM had ever been, even though that was supposedly it’s speciality.  Talk about getting phowned.


~ by fc13 on January 12, 2011.

3 Responses to “29) Does Anyone Still Use AIM?”

  1. People are now getting away from facebook because they dont want people knowing their business. wouldnt it be funny if they just went back to anonymous instant messaging.

  2. I totally agree with you on Facebook. But..it’s the way of the world now. Many people refuse to stay in touch in any other way. However, I think that AIM is great for the simpler conversations in life. Great blog!

    • Actually, I think facebook more than accommodates for “the simpler conversations in life.” (Not trying to troll, just saying…) Not many people are tech savvy enough or care enough to put in the effort but the facebook chat system uses XMPP (an open source instant messaging service) that you can easily configure a chat client (like Pidgin) to give you that very AIM-like experience (and by AIM-like i mean that dedicated chat program you have running on the side). I have my pidgin client set up with AIM/Facebook chat/gchat all in one augmented buddy list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: