U.S. Air Force Deletes Instant Messaging
Citing cost and migration to U.S. Defense Department enterprise capabilities, the U.S. Air Force will discontinue its Instant Messenger, or AFIM, and Friends and Family Instant Messenger (FFIM) on December 31, 2011. The collaborative tools were made available through the service's portal at a cost of approximately $228,000 annually. Waning interest in the services and the availability of other social networking options-illustrated by a decrease of 71 percent in page views and 80 percent in weekly visitors to the FFIM-led the Air Force to its decision. The capability will now be available through the Defense Connect Online (DCO) chat function called Jabber. Anyone with a Common Access Card-enabled computer can establish a DCO account, then log in using the card or user identification and password. Information about Jabber is available on the AF Portal.