The mascot appeared on all AIM logos and most wordmarks, and always appeared at the top of the buddy list.
AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) was an instant messaging and presence computer program created by AOL, which used the proprietary OSCAR instant messaging protocol and the TOC protocol to allow registered users to communicate in real time.
AIM was popular from the late 1990s to mid-2000s in North America, and was the leading instant messaging application in that region.
AIM is different from other clients, such as Yahoo!
Messenger, in that it does not require approval from one buddy to be added to another's buddy list.
AIM accounts are available only for people over the age of 13; children younger than that are not permitted access to AIM. it can be used for online, print or even broadcast advertising, etc.
This is outlined in the policy and terms of service: "...
As a result, it is possible for users to keep other unsuspecting users on their buddy list to see when they are online, read their status and away messages, and read their profiles.
In fact, there is a Web API to display one's status and away message as a widget on one's Web page.
The AIM mascot was designed by Jo Roan Lazaro and was implemented in the first release in 1997.
This was a yellow stickman-like figure, often called the "Running Man".
Its main competitors during its heyday were ICQ, Yahoo! AOL particularly had a rivalry or 'chat war' with rival Microsoft starting in 1999.