The OG of Instant Messaging ICQ Shutting Down


Remember those days spent away from the computer, frantically hitting refresh on your friend’s ICQ profile to see if their little “Uh-oh” icon turned green? Well, get ready for a wave of nostalgia (and maybe a tear for some) because ICQ, the OG of instant messaging, is officially shutting down on June 26th, 2024.

ICQ, which stands for “I Seek You,” launched in 1996, a time when dial-up connections screeched and AIM wars were a real thing. It quickly rose to fame for its unique features like the aforementioned Uh-oh status (available, away, or busy), custom message sounds, and those addictive little games of checkers and backgammon.

While ICQ eventually ceded ground to more sleek and feature-rich platforms like Skype and WhatsApp, it fostered a passionate user base. At its peak, ICQ boasted over 100 million users, particularly in Eastern Europe and Russia.

These users, from students to office workers, used ICQ to form online communities, share late-night chats, and even coordinate work tasks with the platform’s basic file-sharing capabilities. Remember those times spent sending away messages with agonizing slowness, the anticipation building with each agonizing “bzzt” of your modem?

The official ICQ website now carries a blunt message: “ICQ will stop working on June 26.” The brevity of the announcement reflects the platform’s decline in recent years. However, it doesn’t diminish the impact ICQ had on the way we connected in the early days of the internet.

So, as we bid farewell to the iconic bouncing flower and the never-ending game of “oscar” – the text-based adventure game – let’s raise a virtual glass (or send a digital flower) to ICQ. It may be signing off, but the memories it created will stay online, forever etched in the minds of those who once said, “Uh-oh, gotta go!” For many users, ICQ wasn’t just a platform; it was a digital workplace, a social hub, and a bridge across geographical distances.

There is no official reason that why ICQ is shutting down?

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