Two decades ago, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) changed the way we communicate. It was more private than a phone conversation — which was especially great if you worked in a cubicle — and the real-time nature of the conversations was big advantage over email when you needed an immediate answer. Its convenience, at the time, was unparalleled.
AOL officially shut down AIM in 2017, but its basic principles still drive electronic communications through mobile messaging apps. You don’t need to know someone’s phone number or email address; a connection through social media could be enough. Because they are cloud-based, we can use messaging apps anywhere, on any device, with or without IT approval.