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ICQ Messenger Shuts Down After 28 Years Of Service

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ICQ Messenger Shuts Down After 28 Years Of Service

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ICQ, the pioneering internet messaging service, has officially shut down after almost 28 years of operation. According to the AFP, the announcement was made through a message on ICQ’s website on Wednesday, marking the end of an era for a platform that once boasted over 100 million accounts.

Developed by Israeli programmers in 1996, ICQ, named to sound like “I seek you,” revolutionized real-time chatting. The internet pioneer AOL acquired ICQ in 1998 and grew significantly, reaching over 100 million accounts by the early 2000s. However, its popularity declined, and in 2010, it was sold to a Russian company now known as VKontakte, often called Russia’s Facebook.

ICQ made headlines in 2018 when it was suggested as an alternative messaging platform after Russia banned Telegram. Known for its unique user identification numbers (UINs), ICQ maintained a loyal user base despite the emergence of newer technologies.

In its final years, ICQ struggled to stay relevant in a market dominated by modern messaging services. In its closure, ICQ encouraged users to switch to VKontakte’s other messaging services. ICQ’s website now redirects users to VK Messenger or VK Workspace for communication.

H/T: AFP