Buddy profiles are brief descriptions that each AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) user can write about himself or herself. They are derived from the original AOL Member Profiles, which allowed AOL users to list personal details such as age, sex, and location (a/s/l). Among other popular things, who the users friends are or inspiring quotes. Profiles cannot be made using AIM Express.
Buddy profiles allow multiple font-faces, font colors, and background colors to be used to create unique profiles.
Buddy profiles suffer from several limitations; the two primary limitations are the space limitation (a kilobyte) and the lack of image support. Subprofile.com was the first website to overcome the space limitation of the buddy profile. It created the phenomenon known as the subprofile, which was opened internally in the AIM Buddy Profile window. The subprofile allowed users a much greater amount of space to store their information. It also created new features, such as quizzes, countdowns, and random fact generators.
The subprofiles created by Subprofile.com and other sites such as Buddyprofile.com still suffered from a key limitation: the lack of image support. This was overcome in 2002 by XProfile. XProfile's solution to the lack of image support was to open the link in an external browser. XProfile's subprofiles appear very much like a standard website. Later, several websites such as Buddy4u took a different approach to the problem. These profiles are opened in the AIM Today window, and in terms of window size and shape appear much like a standard profile, but with support for images and other features like those pioneered by Subprofile.com.