AOL is embarking on new ground with their next milestone release of the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Just yesterday they released AIM 6.8 Beta to the public with a new feature that I’m guessing more people will hate rather than love. That’s why it’s a good thing it’s optional!
The new feature is real-time instant messaging with your buddies. If you and your friends are all running AIM 6.8 Beta you’ll be able to see what the others are typing before the messages even get sent. As seen in the screenshot, when the user is typing the message it is highlighted and the timestamp reads “typing.” After the message has actually been sent the highlighting will be removed, and it will look like any other message.
Naturally both parties have to agree to the real-time chat session before AIM will activate it. It can be initiated by going to the Actions Menu at the top of the IM window, or by pressing Ctrl+R on the keyboard.
Now I want to hear what everyone thinks about this. Would you use it? Think about how many times you’ve typed a message and in the end decided not to send it. Would you want to reveal your poor spelling before you have had time to re-read the message?
And yes, ICQ did have this feature back in the day.