AIM Is Now Faster, Better, More Streamy

AOL has been seriously testing lifestreaming in various betas for AIM and AIM Connect for a few months now. At TechCrunch50, AOL just announced that lifestreaming will come out of beta on September 22 and will be part of the AIM product portfolio across Windows, Macs, the Web, iPhones and Windows Mobile.

Last week, the paid version of AIM for the iPhone was updated with lifestreaming capabilities. Today, lifestreaming is coming out of beta across AIM 7 for Windows, AIM for Mac, AIM for the Web, and AIM for Windows Mobile.

The lifestream is AOL’s way of melding instant messaging with social streams from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube Digg, and Flickr. Initially it was just one-way, but recently AOL turned on two-way communications for Twitter and Facebook in the AIM beta so that you can update your status on those two services from within AIM. The beta is being used by about 150,000 people. On September 22, those features will be rolled out across the entire AIM user base of 20 million people.

David Liu, the senior vice-president who’s been leading the lifestreaming charge within AOL, notes that on average users in the AIM 7 beta send 20 percent more IMs than other users. The increased engagement is partly because the lifestream draws them in and gives them another reason to open the app. But the new AIM is also far zippier. “It is faster and lighter than all the major competitors via lab testing,” claims Liu (the competitors being Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and Skype).

As part of the launch, AIM Connect will also be integrated with AddThis across all AOL Media sites to hook back into their lifestreams on AIM, so that they can share content and web pages with their AIM buddies.


Other Coverage:
AOL embraces Twitter, Facebook with AIM Lifestream CNET.
AOL Integrates LifeStream into AIM AppScout.
TC50: AIM opens up; pegs its future on mobile apps VentureBeat.
AIM Debuts Lifestream Twitter Client ReadWriteWeb.