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AIM Calls On Web-Based APIs

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AOL’s efforts to make its AIM client more open to developers will be expanded with web-based widgets and APIs that provide greater accessibility to AIM features.

Stephen Benedict discussed the new features coming from the Open AIM program at WebGuild 2006 in Santa Clara, CA.

These new features should be available in a few weeks. They have been divided into two groups, which AOL described in a statement:

Web-based AIM APIs include:

* Presence, to let AIM users get and set their availability, away messages and profiles. Friends visiting their site can view the AIM user’s online, idle and away times.

* IM Window, to enable AIM users to send and receive IMs right from their Web page. A typing indicator allows buddies to see when the AIM user is typing a reply to an IM.

* Buddy List, to let AIM users view their own Buddy List feature.

* Expressions, to let AIM users access and edit their buddy icons, wallpaper, smileys, and sounds.

Web-based AIM widgets include:

* IM Window Widget, which indicates the sender’s online presence to the recipient only.

* Buddy List Widget, which enables AIM users to create mash-ups that filter buddies based on user-defined criteria, such as only those in a particular community. In addition, this widget allows AIM users to see buddy info, including online, idle and away time, user profiles and away messages, on screen name mouse-over.

* Get Info Widget, which provides buddy info by way of a separate window (rather than on screen name mouse-over). This widget displays the AIM user’s availability, away messages, profiles, buddy icons and also allows a user to initiate an IM from the separate new window.


Opening up technology and data to third-party developers has led to the creation of numerous new ways to use services from companies like AOL, Google, Yahoo, and others. Instead of directly monetizing those companies, these efforts help build brand loyalty, which leads to greater usage of profitable, ad-supported products.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

AIM Calls On Web-Based APIs
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