AIM Real Time Messaging 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.

AIM 6.8 Beta Homepage

There Are 13 Comments

  1. I can’t count how many movies and TV shows I’ve seen that have this same feature in it. Movies and shows that are over ten years old. As far as I know, this is the first mainstream instance of this.

  2. Same as nicky, have seen this in movies, on TV, etc. I have always wanted this feature, just because I thought it would be cool, and now it is a reality. This is awesome.

  3. The fact that it’s optional seems OK with me…With certain people, I can see myself using this feature.

  4. I remember ICQ being able to do that long ago. I found it to be annoying.

  5. I would think AOL would be trying to invent NEW features instead of adding old ones. Oh well.

  6. ICQ did this at the very beginning and there is a reason they got rid of it…. it is useless. Starting the article with “AOL is embarking on new ground with their next milestone release of the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).” shows your lack of research. This is how the first public IM client worked in the beginning until they realized it was the wrong way to go… for AOL to bring it back over 10 years later shows their lack of innovation.

  7. I’ve used it VERY shortly on ICQ in the beginning as well. Seemed like fun, but got annoying really quickly.

  8. HELLLLLL NO.

    Oh man, how many times I’ve typed in something horridly inappropriate and then decided not to send it….

    So no, I wouldn’t ever use this feature.

  9. I don’t think I’d ever use this.

    I remember the ICQ days… made it more painful to talk to a slow typist, because instead of just alt-tabbing away from the window until they respond, you sat there and waited for them to type. Awful!

  10. I’m with dkong. I don’t know how many times I’ve typed something inappropriate for the situation and reconsidered before I finished, or how many atrocious typos have never seen the light of day because I had time to catch them. I don’t think there’s really a consistent situation where I would use a feature like this.

  11. I think it would be fun to try out, but I definitely wouldn’t use it all the time.

  12. Seems like it would be a lot more of an annoyance than anything else to me too.

  13. Steve wrote:
    ICQ did this at the very beginning and there is a reason they got rid of it…. it is useless. Starting the article with “AOL is embarking on new ground with their next milestone release of the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).” shows your lack of research. This is how the first public IM client worked in the beginning until they realized it was the wrong way to go… for AOL to bring it back over 10 years later shows their lack of innovation.

    Well, AOL is embarking on new ground. They themselves haven’t done this before. I did acknowledge that ICQ did this before in the article.

    The How-To Geek wrote:
    I remember the ICQ days… made it more painful to talk to a slow typist, because instead of just alt-tabbing away from the window until they respond, you sat there and waited for them to type. Awful!

    Ha, that thought didn’t even cross my mind. I guess it would make you smarter trying to predict what they are going to type. :)

    Patrick wrote:
    I think it would be fun to try out, but I definitely wouldn’t use it all the time.

    That was my initial thought as well. It’s one of those things that you say “hey, check this out.” And then you never use it again.

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