The Demise of ICQ: A Chapter in Instant Messaging History

The iconic instant messenger service ICQ, a pioneer in the field of real-time chatting, is set to cease operations on June 26th. The announcement, made by Russian company VK, marks the end of a chapter in the history of online communication. ICQ, with its unique user numbering system and distinctive features like SMS messaging, has been a beloved platform for many users since its inception in 1996.

Initially founded by Israeli company Mirabilis, ICQ gained popularity rapidly and was eventually acquired by AOL in 1998. At its peak, the service boasted 100 million registered users, making it one of the most widely used instant messenger services of its time. However, with the emergence of newer and more advanced messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, ICQ’s user base began to decline.

For those who grew up using ICQ, the service holds a special place in their hearts. The iconic “Uh oh!” alert that played when a message was received, the user numbering system, and the ability to message offline contacts were all features that set ICQ apart from its competitors. Despite its eventual decline, ICQ will be remembered as a trailblazer in the world of online communication.

As ICQ fades into oblivion, users are encouraged to switch to VK’s other chat solutions. The ever-evolving landscape of instant messaging continues to adapt to the changing needs of users, with new apps and features constantly being developed. While ICQ may be saying goodbye, its legacy lives on in the memories of those who were part of its vibrant online community.


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