AIM was an instant messaging and presence computer program created by AOL, which used the proprietary OSCAR instant messaging protocol and the TOC protocol to allow registered users to communicate in real time.

The TOC protocol, or Talk to OSCAR protocol, was a protocol used by some third-party AOL Instant Messenger clients and several clients that AOL produced itself.

Instant messaging technology is a type of online chat that offers real-time text transmission over the Internet.

A computer program is a collection of instructions that performs a specific task when executed by a computer.

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AIM was popular from the late 1990s to the late 2000s in North America, and was the leading instant messaging application in that region.

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AIM's popularity declined steeply in the early 2010s as Internet social networks like Facebook and Twitter gained popularity, and its fall has often been compared with other once-popular Internet services such as Myspace.

Myspace is a social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos.

Facebook is a for-profit corporation and online social media and social networking service based in Menlo Park, California, United States.

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called "tweets".


In June 2015, AOL was acquired by Verizon Communications.

Verizon Communications Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications conglomerate and a corporate component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.


In June 2017, Verizon combined AOL and Yahoo into its subsidiary Oath Inc. The company discontinued AIM as a service on December 15, 2017.

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