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Difference Between AOL and AIM

aol-logoAOL vs AIM

AOL, which is formerly known as America Online, is primarily an American global internet services and media company. It was founded in 1983, and at that time, it was known as Quantum Computer Services. Since then, it has contracted its services to various companies, in several countries, all around the world. It has set up international versions of it’s services as well.

The online software suite that AOL maintains and developed, allowed millions of subscribers and customers around the globe to access a vast online community. Finally, AOL customers could reach out to everyone on the internet.

In May 1997, AOL released an instant messaging and presence computer program, called AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM for short. This computer software is maintained by the AOL Company, and it allows registered users to easily communicate with one another in real-time. Aside from other instant messaging programs maintained and developed by AOL (e.g. ICQ and iChat), AIM is one of the main marketing pulls of the company, and it has the biggest fraction of the instant messaging market in North America, especially in the United States.

As of this year (2009), AOL has finally separated with Time Warner, and ceased the ownership of the latter. AOL spun-off into a separate public company. The relationship between AOL and Time Warner lasted two years short of a decade.

Nowadays, however, AIM has a lot of competition, such as MSN of Microsoft. Yahoo and Google have their own instant messaging software as well. Unlike their earlier stint, they no longer monopolize their market share of instant messaging. Despite this fact, AIM has made a lot of improvements to both functionality and performance. It is also available in various platforms, such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The AIM client is an ad supported platform and software. Users of the instant messenger should expect to see ads. Nevertheless, AIM is a great instant messaging software, as it supports many functions and has heaps of useful features. Current AIM clients include AIM Triton, AIM 6.8 Pro, AIM express, as well as various ranges of beta and mobile clients.


1. AOL is a company, while AIM is a software, developed and maintained by AOL.

2. AOL is short for America Online, a corporate internet service provider (ISP). AIM is the initials of AOL Instant Messenger, a cross platform instant messaging program.

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