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Chapter 14. Instant Messaging > AOL Instant Messenger

AOL Instant Messenger

The most-used instant messaging program is AOL Instant Messenger (also known as AIM). AIM is available in a free Web-based version, and in a version built into the proprietary America Online interface. Users of the Web version of AIM can communicate directly with users of the AOL-specific version; in fact, a single user ID will suffice if you move from the Web version to the AOL version of the program.

Between the two versions, AIM claims more than 45 million users (25 million of whom use the PC version of the program), dwarfing the number of users of the other instant messaging programs. (MSN Messenger is the number-two program, with more than 15 million users; Yahoo! Messenger has about 12 million users, and ICQ’s user base has actually declined in recent years to just 10 million users.)


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