Air Force Shutting Down Instant Messenger Service

The Air Force will shut down the Air Force Instant Messenger and the Friends and Family Instant Messenger services by the end of the year, according to the Department of Defense.

The cost of the services, combined with waning interest in the services, Air Force focus on migrating to DOD enterprise capabilities and availability of other social networking options, led to the decision to eliminate the services.

Since the DOD opened up access to social media sites on May 2010, both AFIM and FFIM metrics show a significant decrease in usage. As of September 2011, AFIM usage had decreased 71 percent in page views; and 43 percent in weekly session visitors from approximately 5,000 to less than 2,500. For FFIM, weekly visitors had decreased 80 percent from 600 to less than 100, according to DOD.

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