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AOL's Developer Kit Boosts Its AIM Service

AOL said Monday that more than 45,000 developers are using its AIM Software Development Kit to produce new features for its AIM instant messaging service. The company also said it has added new support for the creation of Bots, PC-to-PC calling, and location-based services.

In addition, AOL said it was adding support for developers using Mac OS X, Java, Linux, and Pocket PC.

AIM Bots, which enable users to respond automatically to IMs, support audio calls, file transfers and file sharing. The Bots are blocked from initiating IMs without permission.

AOL is moving to take advantage of its dominant position in
awarding free phone numbers to its users. In the announcement, AOL said developers will have the ability through open source sipXtapi SIP stack to add AIM Talk's PC-to-PC voice functionality and multi-party voice chat to custom AIM clients.

AOL also cited features recently added to its Open AIM Initiative to attract more users to the IM service. Bandalong Entertainment is providing its imstar lifelike 3-D avatar-based feature while Doppelganger is offering a virtual nightclub. Online gamers can utilize an online gaming feature from Super Computer International and a security-enhanced version of the AIM service aimed at business users is being provided by WebEx Communications.