Instantaneous messaging service ICQ is shutting down after 27 years Defend Cyber

One of many oldest, still-running on-line platforms is lastly closing its doorways after 27 years. ICQ, a once-popular instantaneous messaging service, introduced on Friday through its web site that it might be shutting down subsequent month. 

“ICQ will cease working from June 26,” reads a message on ICQ.com. “You’ll be able to chat with buddies in VK Messenger, and with colleagues in VK WorkSpace.”

The choice suggestions are messaging platforms belonging to VK, a Russia-based social media platform in style within the nation and works very like Fb. VK acquired ICQ in 2010 from AOL, which had purchased the service in 1998.

The primary of the moment messengers 

ICQ is taken into account certainly one of, if not the earliest instantaneous messaging service on the web. 

The platform, named after the phrase “I Search You,” was developed by a small Israeli firm named Mirabilis and launched in November 1996. ICQ predates different in style IM providers like AOL Instantaneous Messenger (AIM) which grew to become synonymous with the moment messaging area.

From the mid-90s up till the aughts, instantaneous messaging providers reigned supreme on the web. Companies like AIM, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger backed by the web tech giants of the time, served as one of many the prime methods during which web customers interacted earlier than social media.

Nonetheless, regardless of these large opponents, ICQ caught on among the many early adopters of the web. In 1998, its greatest rival, AOL acquired the corporate for an upfront fee of $287 million, adopted by an extra $120 million over three years based mostly on the providers’ efficiency. 

Mashable Gentle Velocity

In 2001, AOL introduced that ICQ had grown to over 100 million customers. Nonetheless, within the following years, the accessibility and entry of social media apps like Fb on cellphones significantly minimize into the IM market share. Instantaneous messenger utilization waned as customers moved on to platforms like Fb Messenger and WhatsApp. 

The tip of IM

Of the beforehand talked about IM platforms, MSN Messenger was the primary to shut in 2014, adopted by AIM in 2017, and Yahoo Messenger in 2018. However, ICQ survived.

AOL offered the service to VK in 2010 for $187.5 million the place it continued to serve a devoted consumer base. In accordance with VK, there have been roughly 11 million ICQ customers in 2022.

ICQ lengthy loved a wholesome consumer base exterior of the U.S., which probably helped preserve it afloat for much longer than its contemporaries. The service used ICQ numbers to establish customers, together with the customary username, which helped its reputation in international locations like China. As well as, Hong Kong residents flocked to ICQ in 2021 after customers dropped WhatsApp because of a change within the platform’s privateness coverage. Resulting from VK’s possession, ICQ additionally had a big Russian consumer base.

Nonetheless, there have been indicators that VK was planning to sundown the platform. ICQ’s cellular apps disappeared from Apple’s App Retailer and the Google Play retailer round 2022. ICQ was nonetheless accessible through its web-based platform and its desktop apps. Nonetheless, these apps had been final up to date over a 12 months in the past.

After all, 27 years is kind of the run. Nonetheless, with ICQ’s demise, it does seem the age of instantaneous messaging is formally useless. With that stated, ICQ’s official account on X seems to be having enjoyable in its ultimate days…or even perhaps hinting at one thing new sooner or later. 

The @ICQ account printed two posts containing GIFS from the film Terminator 2 on Friday shortly after the closure announcement.

The account’s ultimate submit? Arnold Schwarzenegger’s notorious line, “I will be again.”

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