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AOL and Facebook “In a Relationship”




Maybe AOL decided their Q4 news wasn’t enough to keep them in the headlines this week—but they’re back again. Of course, it’s hard to stay out of the headlines when you’re making a deal with the most popular social network in the world.

That’s right, Facebook and AOL are hooking up—and in a fairly literal way. AOL’s popular chat client, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), is integrating with Facebook’s chat feature. According to Forbes:

Starting today, AIM users will be able to chat with their Facebook friends through their AIM accounts. They’ll also be able to import so-called news feeds and “wall” posts to AIM and export status updates, videos, links, and photos to Facebook.

Interestingly, this coincides nicely with the rollout of Google Buzz, Google’s automatic social network (or “Google Wave Light“). Why is that so interesting? Well, Google Buzz is based around Gmail, including Gmail’s integrated chat—which has allowed people to use their AOL logins for years.

Of course, this news ploy also bodes well for Facebook—can’t let some other social property hog the spotlight for more than a day, right?

We first heard rumors of Facebook Chat nearly two years ago, and they quickly became reality. At the time, the move allowed Facebook users to not only communicate quickly, but meant they could use one less IM service with more centralized communications. While I like the idea of these services integrating—sometimes convergence is a good thing, after all—I can’t really see what AIM is getting out of it. I suppose they’re one step further from obsolescence, but does this just inevitably seal that fate?

What do you think? Is AIM saving itself or dooming itself with this move?