BION (believe it or not), instant messengers (IMs) have been around for nearly two decades already. AAMOF (as a matter of fact), the very first IM tool -- a chat app for PCs -- debuted in 1996. Cue The Wayback Machine: It was called ICQ, short for I Seek You.
IM apps have come a long way since, giving rise to a whole new digital convo shorthand, endless TMIs, LOLs and LMAOs included. The the following infographic, care of WhoIsHostingThis.com, briefly tracks the history of IM services.
From the genre’s humble “buddy list” beginnings to today’s top trending mobile messaging apps, like Skype and WhatsApp, it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride. (Oddly, there’s no mention of Kik. WTH?)
Take a trip down IM memory lane below.