AOL Instant AOL Instant Messenger Version
Download AOL Instant Messenger 8 Mb
Brief review for the previous version
Well, it’s the venerable ancestor of instant messaging and internet chat, but does AIM still have anything left in the tank? AOL’s instant messaging platform has been swamped by a raft of competitors during its lifetime, and though it’s held its own against other standalone programs like MSN Messenger and ICQ, the rise of social networking and online messaging services like Facebook Chat have put serious dents in the viability of AIM and its brethren.
AIM has moved to keep up with trends, bringing to bear its Lifestream feature in a bid to stay abreast of social networking and Web 2.0 applications. Lifestream allows you to link social media accounts to your AIM profile and access them through the one interface, with compatibility running across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It’s a good idea in theory, until you realise that streaming from so many sites ends up cluttering up your interface and often bogging down your runtime processes. We’d recommend disabling the Lifestream feature and sticking to the basic functions of AIM: chatting online via text, audio and video. AIM does all of these to a high standard - although video calls can sometimes drop out, we’re inclined to accept this as an issue across the board rather than a fatal flaw in AIM’s systems.
Ultimately, what it boils down to is user preference. If you’ve been with AIM since the very start and still have a lot of buddies on the network, you’ll probably want to stick with using the client - while the interface is rather staid and clunky at times, it’s reliable and won’t let you down or confuse you. However, if you’re active on multiple chat networks or want something with more functionality, you’d probably be better off opting for a third-party chat client - and if you want to check your social media accounts, you’d be wise to stick to their own proprietary systems rather than going with Lifestream. Sometimes age doesn’t count for that much in the scheme of things.

Reviewer's rating

Reviewed by Mark Yeow
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