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However, AOL also created a simpler protocol called TOC that lacks many of OSCAR's features, but was sometimes used for clients that only require basic chat functionality.The TOC/TOC2 protocol specifications were made available by AOL, while OSCAR is a closed protocol that third parties have had to reverse-engineer.There was also a Web API to display one's status and away message as a widget on one's webpage.
However, in August 2013, the "Running Man" once again returned.
Around 2011, AIM started to lose popularity rapidly, partly due to the quick rise of Gmail and its built-in real-name Google Chat instant messenger integration in 2011 and because many people started purely moving onto SMS text messaging and later social networking Web sites for instant messaging, in particular, Facebook Messenger, which was released as a standalone application the same year.
As of June 2011, one source reported AOL Instant Messenger market share had collapsed to 0.73%.
AIM was an outgrowth of "online messages" in the original platform written in PL/1 on a Stratus computer by Dave Brown.
The software, maintained by AOL, Inc., at one time had the largest share of the instant messaging market in North America, especially in the United States (with 52% of the total reported as of 2006 Its main competitors during its heyday were ICQ (although AOL acquired it in 1998), Yahoo! AOL particularly had a rivalry or "chat war" with rival Microsoft starting in 1999.