Most Instant Messengers have one serious disadvantage and that is that they are tied to a specific computer. If you are on another computer that is not your own you most likely will not have access to your Instant Messenger. That's probably one of the reasons why people love Twitter and other web services that do not have that requirement.
AIM Express tries to change that for users of the AOL Instant Messenger. It's a web service that is offering AIM users a way to send and receive messages without the AIM client. That comes pretty handy if you are at a library or at work and want to send your friends a short message.
The only requirement for AIM Express is Adobe Flash 9.0 that has to be installed on the computer so that the service can be started. All that needs to be done is signing in with the username or email and password and you get access to the AIM Express client that opens in a popup window.
Make sure you don't block the popup. The client offers a basic functionality, you see all your buddies, may chat with one or several of them, may add new buddies and may change your online status.
It's a nice web application for everyone who is using AIM and needs access to it on computers that are not his own. Just pray that the system admin did not disable access to either Flash or the AIM Express website.
Update: AIM Express is still available on the official AOL Instant Messenger website. The requirements have changed in the meantime. Users need to have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed to use the service's functionality. An AIM account is obviously required as well.
The new version can be used to chat with anyone on AIM, Facebook or Google Talk. The full buddy list is accessible, as are options to update Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and more services right from within the service.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.