AIM update puts price on new buddies

America Online released a new version of its popular instant messaging program (AIM 5.9 Beta) earlier this week. This new version adds several new features, but this time at a price.

For $9.95 a year or $1.95 a month you'll receive animated buddy icons, sound effects, wallpaper support for you IM's window, and other features. All of this will be available in September of this year, when AOL launches AIM 5.9. This move comes as another attempt from AOL to increase its overall revenue, which up to this point has been disappointing for its shareholders.

I don't think these new features will help bring in a decent amount of revenue for AOL. Simply because I don't think consumers will pay for features like these, when they can get them free from other IM services. If AOL really wants to make AIM users happy they should design AIM with new interface. Let's face it AIM hasn't added anything exciting to its IM service for long time. Because of this other IM services have had time to innovate new and exciting features, features like three way video conferencing from Apple. Granted that Apple didn't create three way video conferencing the way it's presented is definitely pretty impressive.

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