Home News ICQ to Shut Down on June 26, 2024

ICQ to Shut Down on June 26, 2024

ICQ to Shut Down on June 26, 2024

In a significant development for the tech community, ICQ, one of the pioneering instant messaging platforms, announced that it will cease operations on June 26, 2024. This decision marks the end of an era for a service that once dominated the early days of internet communication.

Background and History

ICQ, which stands for “I Seek You,” was launched in 1996 by the Israeli company Mirabilis. It quickly gained popularity for its user-friendly interface and unique User Identification Numbers (UINs), which allowed users to connect with each other. In 1998, ICQ was acquired by AOL for $287 million, a testament to its rapid growth and widespread adoption.

Over the years, ICQ introduced several innovations in instant messaging, such as offline messaging and multi-user chats. Despite facing stiff competition from other messaging services like AOL Instant Messenger and Google Talk, ICQ remained particularly popular in Russian-speaking countries. In 2010, the service was sold to Digital Sky Technologies (now known as Mail.Ru Group) for $187.5 million. Mail.Ru Group continued to develop ICQ, transitioning it into a mobile messaging app to keep up with changing user preferences.

The Shutdown Announcement

On May 24, 2024, ICQ’s official website announced that the service would be shutting down on June 26, 2024. The announcement advised users to migrate to VK Messenger and VK WorkSpace, both of which are platforms under the same parent company, Mail.Ru Group. This move is part of a broader strategy to consolidate messaging services and streamline operations within the company.

ICQ’s user base, though significantly smaller than its peak, still includes a dedicated group of long-time users who expressed nostalgia and disappointment over the shutdown. The platform’s historical significance and its role in shaping online communication are undeniable.

Why ICQ is Shutting Down

The decision to shut down ICQ is likely influenced by several factors, including the rise of more modern and feature-rich messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. Additionally, the costs of maintaining and updating an older platform may have become unsustainable. By focusing on VK Messenger and VK WorkSpace, Mail.Ru Group can leverage newer technologies and provide a more integrated user experience.

What’s Next for Users

ICQ users are encouraged to transition to VK Messenger, which offers similar functionalities and improved features. VK Messenger supports both personal and group chats, media sharing, and more, making it a suitable alternative for those who wish to continue their online communications seamlessly.

The shutdown of ICQ marks the end of a significant chapter in the history of internet communication. While newer platforms have taken its place, ICQ’s legacy as a trailblazer in instant messaging will be remembered by many. Users now look forward to exploring new communication possibilities with VK Messenger and other modern services.


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