AOL releases AIM API; says play with me, but not with others

Wonders in the Walled Garden never cease; AOL announced this morning that it was releasing an AOL AIM API that would support open development of AIM plug-ins, AIM user interface applications and the integration of AIM presence information into other sites and applications. Open AIM has Web site at http://developer.aim.com/, with tools and documentation; can’t wait to see what the first mash-up is.
Some of the quotes:
“The Open AIM program will provide online businesses, Web sites and third-party developers everywhere with direct access to one of the largest and most active online communities in the world. We are extremely excited to see the creative new ideas that developers will bring to the table. Together, we will usher in a new era in real time communications services, offering consumers increased choice and making it easier than ever to connect and communicate online.”–Kevin Conroy, Executive Vice President, AOL Media Networks
“By enabling external developers to create applications on top of our network, we can provide AIM users with new features we wouldn’tn’t otherwise do, for whatever reason.”–Justin Uberti, AIM’s chief architect
Of course, there is one catch–AOL still won’t allow its’ code to be used to link to other IM platforms–“”We do have a restriction on multi-headed clients at this point. If you’re going to build an IM client that connects to our network, it can’t connect to another IM network.”
–Jamie Odell, AIM product manager