Thursday, May 30, 2024

ICQ Is Officially Shutting Down After 28 Years


ICQ, the instant messaging program of the 90s and early 2000s, is officially and finally shutting down after close to 30 years of service. The app, known for its iconic “Uh-Oh” prompt whenever messages were received, will be shutting its doors to the world on 26 June.

The announcement, if you could even call it that, was posted on the app’s main page, with the simple message “ICQ will stop working from 26 June”, along with a reminder that users to migrate over to the Russia-based social media platform, VK. Yes, the same VK created by Pavel Durov, who is also responsible for the creation of the messenger app, Telegram.

ICQ was initially owned by US telco AOL, who acquired the messaging platform back in 1998 to the tune of US$400 million (~RM1.88 billion). Durov, under VK, purchased the platform in 2010.

It can be argued that the decline in ICQ’s popularity began with the rise of smartphones and other messaging apps like WhatsApp. Naturally, VK tried to keep the spark alive by modernising it, redesigning and adding different features to it but sadly, it didn’t help.

At its peak, ICQ had over 100 million registered users. While that pales in comparison to the over two billion users WhatsApp boasts today, it was an achievement for many users back in the day, especially at a time when smartphones weren’t available.

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