What is AIM Blast?

AIM Blast is a new part of the AIM service. AIM Blast lets you have a group conversation or send an IM to multiple people at once just as you would a regular IM from your Buddy List, without having to set up a bot or a chat room.

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Do I have to download AIM Blast to use it?

No. You can set up a new Blast group and invite others to join at the AIM Blast website: http://blast.aim.com. Joining and sending messages to a group can all be done directly from AIM, wherever you're signed in.

Why would I want to use AIM Blast?

AIM Blast lets you have a group conversation or send an IM to multiple people at once just as you would a regular IM from your Buddy List, without having to set up a bot or a chat room. You can use it for school groups or work teams, to set up notification systems to send information to many people all at once, or simply to set up a chat group with your buddies.

How do I set up an AIM Blast group?

Go to http://blast.aim.com to set up your group and invite others to join. It takes just a few seconds, and then you're on your way!

Ok, I set up a Blast group at the website. Now what do I do?

Take a look at your Buddy List; you should see the group there already. Once people start accepting your invitations to join the group, just use the Blast group screenname to send an IM to everyone and kick off the discussion!

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How can I tell if someone has accepted my invitation to join?

Log in to http://blast.aim.com. You'll see on the main page under "Recent Activity" whether someone has accepted or declined your invitation. You can also go to the page for particular Blast group and take a look at the member roster (if allowed) to see who has joined the group.

I received an IM inviting me to join a group. How do I know if I should accept or not?

When you receive an IM invitation to join a group you can accept or decline on the spot. A link is also provided to allow you to go to the webpage for that Blast group and learn a little bit more before making a decision.

Once I accept an invitation to join a Blast group, what do I do?

That's it! Take a look at your Buddy List; you should see the group there. You can start chatting with your friends and colleagues right away.

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I tried to send an IM, but it says that I am not allowed. Why not?

Some Blast groups are set up only for one-way communication, or only allow group administrators to send a message. This is true in particular for Blast groups that are meant to serve as notification systems, or that are particularly large where unrestricted conversation would be too confusing to follow. You can confirm how your group is set up by checking the settings at the Blast group webpage.

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I'm really busy right now and don't want to get any messages for a while. Can I turn off my Blast messages without leaving the group?

Yes. If you want to temporarily stop receiving Blast messages from a group without actually leaving the group, you can delete the group from your Buddy List, or just check the box on your settings at the Blast group webpage. To put the group back in your Buddy List and start receiving messages again, just select "Receive Messages" at the Group Settings webpage.

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How can I leave a Blast group?

You can remove yourself by clicking "Leave This Group" at the Blast group webpage.

I don't see my groups anymore in my Buddy List. What happened?

Accessing some third-party services that allow you to use AIM, such as Meebo, can cause problems with the display of your Blast groups, and can cause the group to be temporarily disabled for you. Go to your settings page for your Blast groups and select "Receive Messages" under Message Controls. This should reinstate the Blast group back into your Buddy List.