AIM is Dead: Considerations of a Product Life Cycle

The headline on Gizmodo reads, “AIM Is (Unofficially) Dead.”

This doesn’t surprise me. I’ve not heard anyone talking about AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) for years, and it’s been even longer since I used it. (Which isn’t surprising given that I never liked AIM in the first place.)

The technology of publishing used to be simple: a printing press. Now we have a plethora of publishing technologies, first to aid in the production of the printed page, but more recently — and importantly — to facilitate digital publishing, in all manner of manifestations online as well as mobile.

Just as AIM had its life cycle — birth, growing up, peaking, maturing, and now fading — so too will each of publishing’s technologies do the same. What is important today will someday become a non-issue. And if we blink or are not willing to change, we could easily miss the transition from one technology to the next — and we would do so at our own peril.

I assume that it was Twitter that caused AIM’s demise. That raises the question of how much life does Twitter have left — and what will be its cause of death?