AOL Open AIM to enable plugins and mashups

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AOL Open AIM to enable plugins and mashups

Holy moly! AOL is opening up their AIM client! Wow... It's about frickin' time is alll I have to say. While they are enabling developers to tie into their AIM client, it's unclear if this will enable interoperability with other third-party IM clients such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, GAIM, etc. I think this is merely to enable developers to add IM support to their webpages to enable social networking capabilities. In any event, the release follows

AOL today announced the creation of a new Open AIM initiative designed to make it easier than ever to connect with anyone and everyone on the Web. For the first time in the company's history, AOL is inviting developers, online communities and sites and services of every kind to build new plugins and custom communications clients based on the popular AIM platform (

The Open AIM® initiative empowers companies, communities and independent developers alike to build customized plugins, stand-alone communications clients and popular application 'mash-ups' that access AOL's global instant messaging network and reach more than 63 million active users across the AOL®, AIM®, ICQ® and Apple® iChat(TM) services.

The program gives developers unprecedented freedom to unleash their creativity with an AIM® Software Development Kit (SDK) that lets them build new tools that deliver real time text, voice and video communications without compromising the security of the AOL instant messaging network. The AIM SDK features support for AOL's proprietary protocols and is available today at

"The Open AIM program will provide online businesses, Web sites and third-party developers everywhere with direct access to one of the largest and most active online communities in the world," said Kevin Conroy, Executive Vice President, AOL Media Networks. "We are extremely excited to see the creative new ideas that developers will bring to the table. Together, we will usher in a new era in real time communications services, offering consumers increased choice and making it easier than ever to connect and communicate online."

The premier custom communications client being built in part on the AIM SDK is a new professional version of the AIM service codenamed 'AIM® Pro'. As announced on Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 'AIM Pro' is being co-developed by AOL and WebEx Communications, Inc. through a far-reaching expansion of the companies' proven partnership. It will be the industry's first on-demand instant messaging service designed to meet today's advanced business collaboration needs and help people be more productive at work.

Expected in Q2 of this year, 'AIM Pro' will leverage both AOL's global instant messaging network and the global WebEx MediaTone Network. It will provide at-work users with a customized and secure version of the AIM service that features WebEx's advanced real-time collaboration, desktop sharing and voice and video conferencing capabilities. The companies will work together to bring the new on-demand service to market in two editions: a professional edition for individuals and small to mid-size businesses, and an enterprise (EIM) edition with centralized administrative controls for larger corporations.

Pricing and availability: Enrollment in the Open AIM program and use of the AIM SDK for the development of new plugins and clients is free. The Open AIM program enables companies, communities and developers to sell advertising and access, and to facilitate up to 250,000 log-ins per day or two million log-ins per month, without additional licensing requirements. Parties interested in using the AIM SDK for enterprise uses should contact

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