Like a phoenix from pixelated ashes, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), that iconic chat service from the good ol' pre-social media days of dial-up, has been restored. Also, who am I kidding? For those you older than Gen Z who can remember running home from school to check your AIM messages from the friends, and hopefully your grade-school crush, in your Buddylist whilst Carson Daly-era TRL was on in the background, this was our social media. Those good old Y2K days!
AOL is not affiliated with the resurrection of AIM, but rather, a savvy group of developers, Motherboard reports. Instead, the new chat service, fittingly called AIM Phoenix, is being run through a private server by Wildman Productions, a non-profit group of programmers who make software as a hobby. By using the old AIM software running on a new server, AIM Phoenix manages to look and feel exactly like the original chat client, including those cutesy alert sounds for new messages.
Download the old AIM through the AIM Phoenix website and register for a new username, create your Buddylist from scratch, and, et voila, you're back online as whatever violently generic "sceneXcore," persona name plus random number that means something to you. Mine was very embarrassing (don't act like yours wasn't): rockstar56214. If you find me and see an avatar of a 14-year-old kid with snaggle tooth, I ain't scared. You won't though. Wink face emoji.
Graphic via Pixabay/AIM