New AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) Service Let’s You Know Your Buddies’ Location

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A new service announced by AOL, called Skyhook, adds a new “Near Me” buddy group to your AIM buddies. This is intended to show you your nearby buddies or local buddies. Based on where you and your AIM buddies are located, those who are within a certain number of miles of you will show up in your “Near Me” buddy group.

Skyhook, developed by Skyhook, Inc., works by tracking through both wifi transmitters and wi-fi enabled computers, meaning that, at least in theory, if your buddy is using a wifi enabled laptop, then they can move in and out of your “Near Me” buddy group as they travel closer to or further from you. If a buddy wants people to know where they are located and isn’t using a wifi-enabled computer, they can input their location manually.

Said Marcien Jenckes, head of AOL’s AIM division, “As we build these platforms for people to connect, we find that context is very important. [When deciding how to contact someone]..people think through what’s the right mechanism. It might depend on how much time I have to talk or how involved I want to be in the conversation or what I’m doing. Proximity or location is another one of those factors that will play an increasing role.”

In order to set up the Skyhook “Near Me” buddy tracking, you need to download the free Skyhook plug-in from AOL AIM

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4 thoughts on “New AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) Service Let’s You Know Your Buddies’ Location

  1. Seems some legislation is necessary. A “do not listen to my WIFI” list to have your Wireless stuff removed from the list. At least some tips to tell people how to thwart getting on the list in the future

  2. How do we see this database, I always want to know who’s watching, or listening in this case?

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