IM Is Dead… Isn’t It?

At one point people were complaining there were limits to how many IM accounts you could follow. No more. IM has been hit hard.

Any time I’m on the computer I’ve got IM running. It used to be a great way to chat quickly and briefly with friends. Nowadays there are fewer than a handful of people I IM with!

At one point people were complaining there were limits to how many IM accounts you could follow. No more. IM has been hit hard.

On the phone with Stef a few nights ago I mentioned I’d downloaded the MEEBO messaging app on my iPhone. She wasn’t impressed. She said Helaine and I were the only people she gets instant messages from.

Mostly she chats with her friends via BlackBerry BBM and SMS. Even when she IMs with me it’s often just to pass a link while we’re talking on the phone.

How sad for IM. At one time AOL had such a stranglehold on keyboard-to-keyboard comms. Is there any business AOL is still doing well at?

4 thoughts on “IM Is Dead… Isn’t It?”

  1. While AIM may be dead, and it’s true that I really don’t use any form of IM for personal use, the company I work for uses an internal chat client extensively, both for a quick form of communication and for coaching customer care agents whiile they are on the phone. “Chat with a live agent” functionality is popular on many websites. Facebook and gmail both have built in chat functionality. I think chat exists, but it has evolved.

  2. While I can’t remember the last time I logged into AIM or Yahoo Messenger, it’s only because I found myself replacing it with Google Talk. And I use it pretty much all the time to talk to friends and relatives. It’s a simple tool, yet it does video and audio chatting if you want, and you can access it easily through the web-based GMail interface.

    Can’t speak for anyone elses IM usage though; mine just migrated toward the Googleplex like every other damned thing I use. 😉

  3. I still keep IM running… I have Adium open pretty much all the time I’m at my computer. I don’t get many IMs anymore….mostly friends who I don’t see often, or the roommate when he’s bored at work. (He works a traditional 9-5…I work TV hours…there’s a bit of time when I’m home and he’s at work.)

    Now… SMS. Like Stef, I use it quite a bit. It’s probably a generational thing… (I’m 27, almost 28) Mostly between family and the roommate. But there’s a reason I needed a smart phone, other than I wanted internet in my pocket….the full sized keyboards and stuff, even the virtual iPhone keyboard, are indispensable for how much I SMS. What’s funny, is I really didn’t do much of it until 2005ish, when I met my now-ex. She and I used to SMS chat all the time. (I still have no clue how she typed paragraphs on that old Nokia)

    So yeah…

  4. AIM was a staple during my high school and early college years. At any given time there were 60 people online (the majority of us just never disconnected) and we could send quick messages that we knew people would see when they returned. When people were at their desks we could have long conversations while we worked on school work or other things without being interrupted by the two of us actually talking to each other over the phone (because really, who does that anymore ;-). But the start of my 3rd year in college is when people turned 21, got more involved in interning and working, and people weren’t home as much anymore, so texting became easier (and you always have your phone with you, but not so much your computer). And also about that time, Facebook came along as well with their own chat function, so instead of trying to remember someone’s AIM username you could just find them on FB.

    These days I have my cell number associated with my AIM profile so I always show up on someone’s buddy list, and if they need to send me something it comes as a text message on my phone, and vice versa if I need to send someone a quick message. Because most phone carriers these days have free incoming texts, it’s like free text messaging. But besides that, I would agree that the days of logging into the chat client and holding an extended chat conversation is extremely rare.

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