I remember signing into my AIM account as late as 2007, the better to chat with high school friends who had, like me, gone away for school.
But by that point, all of AIM’s best features had become redundant: status messages could go on Twitter, detailed profiles could be made on Facebook, friends could be contacted via text or Gchat, people with similar interests could be found on any of the above.
) it seems to lack that critical quality that made early AIM, Yahoo Messenger and MSN fun: the edge of quirkiness, transgression and inventiveness.
But at the time, Talkomatic was something of a revelation.
In one early “channel,” described by Info World in 1984, users did nothing but speak Old English and roleplay as kings and maidens.
In others, a form of radical, soul-baring honesty was fairly common; between the fake names, the small communities, and the hours of online contact, the idea of intimacy became “very seductive,” one user told Info World.
In 2003, MSN axed many of its chatrooms across Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Over the course of the next decade, in light of plummeting usage, increased scrutiny over child solicitation and other unpleasantness, and competition from mobile and video chat, AOL and Yahoo would do the same. , we aspire to make the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining,” chirped Yahoo! “Sometimes, this means we have to make tough decisions — like closing down features that we feel aren’t adding enough value for you.” In other words, the market had spoken: The time of the chatroom had passed.