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AIM Is Back To Get You Through Quarantine

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Introducing 1997.chat

A large chunk of the planet is currently stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in many to rely on the internet to stay in contact with friends and family. While some have downloaded Zoom or are using FaceTime to actually see those people, wouldn't it be more fun to throw it back and communicate AOL Instant Messenger style?


The answer is yes, and finally, someone has heard our cries. Alex Obenauer has just launched 1997.chat, an AIM-style instant messenger app including a buddy list, away messages, pixelated icons, and whatever Simple Plan-inspired username your heart desires.

"Last week, with many headed into social isolation, a thought occurred to me: AIM should come back," Obenauer wrote in a Medium post. "After a few more thoughts occurred to me, outlined below, I went ahead and [built] it."

Obenauer notes that it's still a work in progress. He's currently developing a macOS version and you can't yet change the color of your text and background to eye-straining neons, but those should come in due time. For now, you can head over to 1997.chat, create a screen name, add some friends, and put up an away message (preferably your favorite emo lyrics) to let everyone know how you're holding up during this time of self-isolation, which is probably a little bit better now.

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