The End of an Era: Saying Goodbye to ICQ

ICQ, the iconic instant messenger service that many of us grew up using, is finally coming to an end. The Russian company VK, which has been overseeing ICQ since 2010, announced that the service will no longer be operational as of June 26th. This news marks the end of an era for a platform that was once at the forefront of real-time communication.

ICQ, which was launched in 1996 by Israeli company Mirabilis, quickly became a popular choice for those looking to connect with others online. With its unique feature of assigning users a number for connectivity, rather than relying on aliases or email addresses, ICQ stood out from its competitors. Additionally, ICQ offered innovative features such as SMS messaging and the ability to message offline users, setting it apart in the world of instant messaging.

At its peak, ICQ boasted 100 million registered users, according to a 2001 release from Time Warner. However, the platform’s ownership changed hands over the years, with AOL eventually selling it to Digital Sky Technologies in 2010. Despite attempts to modernize ICQ and keep up with the evolving landscape of messaging apps, it seems that the platform’s time has come to an end.

As ICQ fades into obscurity, many of us will fondly remember the iconic “Uh oh!” alert that would signal a new message. While the platform may no longer be accessible through major app stores like Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, its impact on the way we communicate online will not be forgotten. Farewell, ICQ – you will be missed.


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