AOL Fires AIM Team, Future Uncertain
First the Listserv went the way of the dinosaurs, and now this: the New York Times reports that AOL has fired all but the support staff for their Instant Messenger program, as part of wider layoffs throughout the company.
The article states that Instant Messenger was pulling in $50 million in revenue for AOL, but the company wants to further increase its profit margin by drastically decreasing expenses. But as Gizmodo puts it, “No more developers means no more new software. No more new software means AIM stops growing and changing forever, frozen on the decline”; so keeping revenue at the same rate seems highly unlikely.
AOL was once the monolith of Internet service providers, and their AIM was the original time-sucking communication. But Internet service has become an entirely different ballgame, while Facebook, Gchat, and text messages now occupy people’s need for instant communication.
AOL has tried to reinvent itself as a content moderator, buying the Huffington Post, but the company is still apparently ailing. Forty employees, including much of its West Coast staff, were let go, and up to a hundred are expected to get pink slips soon.
What do you think? Do you have any fond AIM memories?