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AOL’s instant messenger service still has (had) an audience of 500,000 a month

It never really made it on mobile.

America Online Crew Mechanic
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

AIM, AOL’s iconic instant messenger service, is shutting down after 20 years.

While it might feel like it’s from another era, as of August AIM had about 500,000 unique visitors in the U.S., according to data from measurement company comScore. That doesn’t tell us exactly how many users AIM has, but it gives us a good idea of its audience. AIM’s user base has been in decline since its peak in the ’90s and early aughts.

Those users will be able to access the service through December 15.

Today, top messaging apps and websites in the U.S. by unique visitors are Messenger and WhatsApp, both Facebook products that receive the majority of their traffic through mobile.

Indeed, most messaging these days occurs over mobile — a platform on which AIM never took off. In August AIM had 500,000 unique visitors, the vast majority of which, 449,000, came through desktop.

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