AIM + Plaxo: "Hello World!"

November 22, 2005

newaimsigninToday is an exciting day here at Plaxo! We’ve been working on integration with AOL Instant Messenger for most of this year and today the new AIM client has been released to the web.

If nothing else, the UI has been given a much needed refresh. Take a look at the new sign-in screen below; to me, the visual design is much cleaner and aesthetically pleasing. Call me shallow, but for me one of the big reasons to upgrade to the latest versions of software (like Windows and Office) is oftentimes the new UI – not the 100 new features in Word that I never use anyways 😛

Where’s Plaxo? When you pop-up AIM for the first time, you’ll see a setup wizard that looks like this:

aimplaxosetup

Don’t close it! It’s not the old and busted AIM Today or profile setup wizard. It’s the new hotness – Plaxo integration setup. It’s a pretty quick setup and the payoff is great: we can help you build your buddy list from your other address books. Plus, you’ll be able to get your address book in AIM too, which means if you’re an Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo!, Hotmail, or Thunderbird user, you’ll be able to get all your contacts quickly and easily inside AIM anytime you need it.

So how does the build buddy list function work? After you import your address book, we use the e-mail addresses you have to look up your friends’ Screen Names. Then we show you the list of Screen Names we find and you have the option to add them to your buddy list. A few clicks and you’ve filled in your buddy list with a bunch of your friends’ Screen Names that you didn’t have! 😀

Additionally, if you use Outlook or Outlook Express, you have the option to get enhanced functionality there too. For example, you can get AIM Presence icons in your Outlook. This allows you to see when people that you e-mail with are available to IM with you.

aiminoutlook

Anyways, give it a try and let me know what you think – we’ve been working on this for more than 6 months and we’re all ears 🙂

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21 Responses to “AIM + Plaxo: "Hello World!"”


  1. Mark, congrats! This looks awesome!

  2. markjen Says:

    Hi Adam! Thanks for the compliments 🙂

    We’ll have to get together and figure out a MSN Messenger version someday…

  3. Orlando Says:

    Mark, i have to say that when i saw this i was very excited. i like Plaxo a lot and the interaction with outlook is great but i am VERY disappointed with this release.
    From the download all the way to the installation it looks great, but then it is just a slow, unresponsive, cumbersome program. I dont have many contacts in my buddy list and it was way slower than the previous version; i cant imagine how slow it would be if i had my old buddy list of 300+ college contacts.
    The integration with plaxo seems to be alright, except for the horrible AOL explorer. To be fair, i have not used the AOL explorer a lot but i didnt want it to begin with so why do i have to install it?; even worse, why do i have to use it? (as far as i checked there wasnt an option to either remove it or set a different browser as default). This bothers me because it kinda sets AOL back to the days where it just installed stuff for you and puts links all over your desktop and quick launch. Very annoying i think most people would agree.
    As i was saying, the interaction with plaxo seems alright except for a few details. It was great that i could sync my existing contacts and that it allowed me to harvest some more from my yahoo and hotmail accounts (why cant this be done from the outlook toolbar? i have been looking for a while now and i cant find a way to grab my contacts from hotmail; they are only added to my address book in AIM). I dont like the address book interface, i had a hard time using it because it was very slow after i added my contacts and because the important data wasnt showing, i had to click the “more info” link. As far as importing the buddy links form your contacts, i think that is a great feature and it worked very well. No complaints there.
    Now, about that interface. At first it looks great, clean and simple with good colors, etc. There are a few things that i liked like drag and drop for the screenames withouth having to go to the setup. What i didnt like was the interface after an action was taken; the dialogs for editing, viewing and deleting seemed a little too over the top, but that may just be me. When using the IM window, it was just painful to have a conversation because it was way too slow. It took a long time to display my input and to send it which meant that by the time i responded, the conversation had already gone somewhere else. It just didnt work for me; i even had a hard time bringing the buddy list or the im window on top; it lagged several secconds. I dont know if anyone else had the same experience or i am just one off.

    All in all, i wont be using this version, just way too slow. I hope you dont take this as a flame but as just constructive criticism. I guess i just had really high expectations and was left disappointed. I mean, first thing i did this morning was install it and mess with it; if i had know it was going to be like it i would have just waited till the end of the day.

    Oh and a version for MSN would be awesome. i use msn way more than aol nowadays anyways (the rest of the world does as well).

  4. markjen Says:

    Hi Orlando, thanks for the feedback.

    Unfortunately, I can’t directly fix a lot of the things that aren’t working well for you (we only built the Plaxo integration pieces, AOL built all of the core application), but I’ll forward your comments along to the AIM team.

    It sounds like a lot of the issues have to do with performance of the application, which I totally understand. I hope they’ll optimize it in the months ahead.

    If you’d like Yahoo sync, check out our IE Toolbar (http://www.plaxo.com/ietoolbar). As for Hotmail, we don’t currently have a sync offering, but you can import by going to https://www.plaxo.com/import?t=reg. We’re working on building this functionality into all our products 🙂

    The MSN version might just be a skunkworks project I do in my spare time… anyone have any skills creating plug-ins for MSN Messenger? (Is there any dev documentation for plugging into MSN Messenger?)

  5. huey Says:

    Mark,

    I watched my 16-year old sister install the AIM Triton beta and observed that she found it weird, and I’m not sure if she really knew what all “this Plaxo stuff” was for. Looking at the install, it seems that it was designed with an older audience in mind. While this makes sense (who else uses address books), it’d be great if Plaxo could hook the youngins early.

  6. markjen Says:

    Hi Huey,

    We were very weary of violating COPA laws (which apply to children 13 and under) and so we tried to gear it for a older audience. The 14-18 audience is one that we currently probably aren’t hitting very well. Hopefully, we can get it right in future versions 🙂

    Thanks for the feedback,
    Mark

  7. Olaf Gradin Says:

    So what about Trillian? I use Trillian for my AIM/MSN IM accounts, but now I’m missing out on Plaxo integration.

  8. markjen Says:

    Hi Olaf,

    Many people at Plaxo are also big fans of Trillian; however, we currently don’t have the resources to make and support a Trillian Plug-in 😦

    We are launching our open REST API soon, which will allow the community to develop plug-ins/applications that integrate with Plaxo. Our Thunderbird plug-in currently uses this API and we’ve been revising it over the past few months.

    Thanks,
    Mark


  9. […] So without further delay, let’s take a looksie! To the left is the new login screen. Like I said when I reviewed AIM Triton briefly, I’m a big fan of updated look & feel and Messenger 8.0 doesn’t disappoint. I like the new color scheme – except for the green messenger guy. I like the old blue-greenish guy better, but oh well. […]

  10. born2race Says:

    how do i delete a name in aim triton?

  11. Nealstermc Says:

    I’m dissapointed in the new TRITON version primarily from the aspect of adding buddies.

    I’ve recently started a new job at a company that uses AIM as it’s primary instant messaging tool. However, when handed the “company” list, I cannot find a means to import the list into Triton. It was very simple and straight forward in previous versions.

    With Triton, I’m forced to use this PLAXO non-intuitive hunk o junk.

  12. markjen Says:

    Hi Nealstermc,

    Sorry you’re having trouble with it; I see where the problem is. It seems that they removed the “Import/Export Buddy List” feature that they used to have in previous versions of AIM. Let me see if I can ask around and find out why…

    Thanks!
    Mark

  13. P Says:

    I have had exactly the same problem as nealstermc.

    I need to import a buddy list from a previous version of AIM, but Triton appears to only have the option to import contacts from outlook, hotmail and yahoo.

    Where’s the backwards compatibility??

  14. veronika Says:

    i’m having the same problem importing a buddylist from older aim versions. also, is there any way to import my old away messages and profile?

  15. Alex Says:

    Same issue here. We ask our employees to use an AIM screen name to communicate, and with triton they’ll have to manually type in all 50+ names. AOL needs to have an import/export feature like they used to have.

  16. hope Says:

    hi i have aim

  17. prince Says:

    Dont mean to beat the dead horse, but I am having the same problem are the previous users, can’t seem to import my BL from one SN to another

  18. evan Says:

    just import your buddy list on 5.9

  19. Shafqat Zaman Says:

    well, my aim triton’s send text is not working. how working fix to send text from aim triton???? please help me. thank you.

  20. john Says:

    hi! how do i add add and delete buddies from a group on my buddy list?

  21. XAOS Says:

    Я тоже иногда такое замечал, но как-то ранее не придавал этому значения.


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