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But it introduced hundreds of millions of users to IM.

As Michael Albers, VP of Communications Product at Oath, AOL's parent company, said, "If you were a 90s kid, chances are there was a time when AIM was a huge part of your life.

However, AOL was also the first of the mass-market online services to offer internet access and that also fueled its success.

Both Yahoo and Microsoft challenged AIM -- with Yahoo Pager, better known as Yahoo Messenger, in 1998 and MSN Messenger, later Windows Live Messenger, in 1999.

You likely remember the CD, your first screenname, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organized your buddy lists.

Right now you might be reminiscing about how you had to compete for time on the home computer in order to chat with friends outside of school.

AOL gave it no publicity whatsoever, but hackers quickly learned of it and adopted it.

The company may never have wanted AIM, but after it exploded in popularity they couldn't ignore it.


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