AIM is pretty crappy. Why do Americans love it?

Ok, I seriously don’t get what’s so awesome about AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). I know that practically every American teen has one, and the 20’s age group too. So what’s so great about AIM? I use AIM 6 at the moment.


I really don’t like it that much. Other than having a lot of friends that use AIM (I live in Texas, USA), and just feeling only a bit snappy, I don’t like it. Not one bit. Here’s some of my reasons :

  • It’s AOL – I never liked AOL. I still don’t. Other than their weblogs (some of which, are ok), I don’t really touch anything else that’s AOL. The page is a clear copy of the layout. AOL Mail is a clear copy of Live Hotmail (though it’s kinda more snappy and better in a way, to be honest) layout. AOL Search is Google Search. So AOL is practically a clone of what’s out there. Don’t forget the 90’s and early 2000’s. Remember those stupid CD’s they’d clutter up in mailboxes across the country? Awful. Just plain awful. I’m glad that better alternatives have risen up over the years.
  • Ads in IM client are awful – Absolutely awful. My cursor just barely touches the ad pane, and most of the times, the stupid ad rolls out. Plus, I can hear the ad a couple of times, when I don’t even activate it. Like a little giggle or something. It’s very annoying, compared to the other clients.
  • Not as many features as other clients – Like Live Messenger can do phone calls, IM games, many color schemes, handwriting support, and some other nifty features you won’t find on AIM. Yahoo! has a few legs up it too. Even if you don’t always use all the features, it’s wonderful to have options, and they don’t get in the way.
  • Menu-digging – I hate digging in menus. I find it have to do this often in AIM, compared to WLM and Y!. There’s too many options that aren’t exposed well enough. It’s ridiculous.
  • The user interface is a mess – Sometimes, I try to find contacts by typing into my status message input box (which they copied from WLM), instead of the find box, because they both look similar at a glance, and are pretty near each other. There’s a lot of redundant actions, where you can find 2 or 3 of the same actions somewhere else on the UI. You have to dig around the menu very often, and I just hate it.

Those are my main reasons. There’s a few, just a few useful things. Like IM logs, and tabbed messenger windows built-in. But I think WLM and even Y! Messenger heads above it.

Do you still use AIM? What reasons do you like to use AIM over any other IM client?


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