RIP, AOL Instant Messenger

AIM is now AFK 4EVA.

We knew this day would come. One of the major parts of our formative years on the worldwide web -- we called it that back in the day -- will cease to be. AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) came to a close a few hours ago. While we've already eulogized it, it doesn't make the moment any less bitter. Sunrise, sunset.

AIM started life as a built-in chat application for America Online's desktop client, back when millions bought their internet service from AOL, now called Oath, and now owners of this very site. It didn't capture the imagination of the early internet until it was spun out as a separate app back in 1997. The little yellow guy soon became iconic. Fortunately there's no shortage of messaging services now -- if you're not Facetiming or using Snapchat, that is. We'll always have the memories.