AOL Extends Open AIM to the Web

AOL said Thursday at the WebGuild Developers Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. that it would be expanding its Open AIM program to include web-based APIs and widgets. With the new functionality, developers would be able to build AIM functionality into Web sites and online communities.

"These Web-based APIs offer users the convenience of access to the AIM service from any computer," an AOL spokesperson told BetaNews.

The Dulles, Va. based company began the Open AIM program in March. The initative covered three different areas: plug-ins, online presence and completely custom AIM clients. Thursday's announcements deal with the latter two in terms of Web-based clients.

AOL's principal product manager for AIM Stephen Benedict announced four new Web-based APIs and three new web-based widgets at the conference.

Of the APIs, one will allow the user to get and set his presence, while another would allow the receipt and sending of IMs from a Web page, as well as a 'typing' indicator. The third API allows for the display of a user's buddy list; and the fourth enables the use of AIM Expressions.

The widgets include one to indicate the sender's online presence; another which allows the user to view buddy list data, as well as filter it on user-defined criteria; and a "get information" widget that would display buddy info in a separate window rather than a mouseover action.

Both the widgets and APIs would be made available through the company's AIM developer Web site in the next several weeks, the spokesperson said.

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