Home Open AIM opens up some more

Open AIM opens up some more

Open, freedom, dynamic, flexibility. Not words you’d
traditionally associate with AOL. But they’re pushing on with their Open AIM platform, announcing more upgrades to it
today. The latest updates are:

– Support for AIM Bots

– Location-based services

– PC-to-PC voice calling

– Support for developers working on the Mac OS X, Linux, and Pocket PC platforms – or
with the Java language.

Together with the AIM Pages platform,
which IMO is ahead of the curve in integrating external services into its social
networking offering, this shows that AOL is adapting big time to the new rules of the

Open AIM was launched in March and (according to the press release blurb) “empowers
companies, communities and independent developers to build customized plugins,
communications clients and mash-ups that access AOL’s global instant messaging network.”
So basically AOL lets developers leverage its market-leading IM platform – which has 43
Million users according to AOL. And now they apparently have more than 45,000 developers
working with the AIM Software Development Kit (SDK).

Seeing as IM is such a huge hit with the MySpace generation, it’ll be interesting to
see what people develop using Open AIM – and what mashups will evolve. The only way to
find out is to open up, so AOL has to be given kudos for doing so. Of course, the fact
that MySpace has IM too and the likes of Skype and Yahoo are big threats – doesn’t hurt
innovation in the IM space 🙂

AIM Bots

I need to investigate these AIM Bots
some more, because they sound fascinating:

“AIM Bots are dedicated, opt-in Screen Names that help developers, marketers and
individuals create new connections and establish strong bonds with contacts in the AIM
community. In addition, AIM Bots can support audio calls, file transfers and picture
sharing. For example, an AIM Bot could be created to let users send pictures or podcasts
to their blogs.

AIM Bots respond automatically to instant messages (IMs) they receive and can maintain
IM conversations with multiple users – reaching up to 10,000 people per day – before
encountering limits.** To prevent IM spam, AIM Bots cannot initiate IMs without

They also sound kind of dodgy, in terms of being bearers of spam and advertising. As a
recent Slashdot article put it: AIM Bots: Useful or Spam?
But still, I’m sure AIM Bots have their good uses!

disclaimer: I’ve done a tiny bit of work for AOL in the recent past, via Marc Canter’s
BBM. Just so you know.

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