AOL Guts Instant Messenger Staff, Speeding Death Of Once-Popular Service

AOL Instant Messenger has been circling the drain of social irrelevance for a while now, and now it’s gotten to the point that the company apparently no longer believes in the future of AIM. AOL laid off 40 workers at its West Coast office, shedding seemingly all critical staff in the Instant Messenger division and leaving only a skeletal support infrastructure.

The New York Times reports this is just the beginning of the latest AOL bloodletting, with as many as 100 more employees expected to see pink slips by the end of the month. Workers at news service Patch.com are said to be next on the chopping block.

Chat services on Google and Facebook have seized much of AIM’s market share, and the layoffs are a likely sign that AOL no longer sees much reason to expend its time and resources in an effort to prep it for a comeback.

AOL Slashes Staff at AIM Unit; Wider Cuts Expected [The New York Times via Gizmodo]