Uh-oh, after 30 years the original instant messaging service ICQ is shutting down

ICQ was the first big instant messaging app from the late 1990s, boasting over 100 million users. Fast forward to 2024 and ICQ is finally no more.

1 minute & 19 seconds read time

If you've been using a PC and going online since the days of dial-up modems and first-gen broadband, then you'll probably remember ICQ - one of the very first instant messaging apps for Windows. If that's the case, you'd probably be surprised to learn that ICQ is still around, though not for long.

ICQ, or "I Seek You," peaked in 2001, when it reportedly had more than 100 million users.

ICQ, or "I Seek You," peaked in 2001, when it reportedly had more than 100 million users.

The app's official site has a simple message: "ICQ will stop working from June 26." This is a big "Uh-Oh" to those still using the service; one of the reasons ICQ became so memorable was its "Uh-Oh" sound that played whenever you received a message. If you're still on the platform, the site suggests migrating to VK messaging apps and services - the Russian media company that acquired ICQ from AOL back in 2010.

Fun fact: AOL, or America Online, acquired ICQ in 1998 for a cool $400 million, which shows how prevalent the app was during the early days of the Internet. Although it's time is finally coming to an end, ICQ has managed to outlast its rivals like MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger.

In recent years, updates to ICQ have brought it more in line with its successors, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, with features like video calling. ICQ, or "I Seek You," peaked in 2001, when it reportedly had more than 100 million users. That number dropped in the ensuing decades to around 11 million in 2022.

ICQ's heyday was definitely the late 1990s and early 2000s, and based on the app's waning popularity in recent times, there was very little chance it would ever reach those heights again. Still, for those who used ICQ, do you still remember your UIN?

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NEWS SOURCES:techspot.com, icq.com

Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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