ICQ Is Shutting Down from June 26 Onwards

TMI Newsdesk
4 Min Read

  • ICQ, the popular 90s instant messaging app will shut down from June 26.
  • The mobile apps have been delisted from the app stores.
  • VK, ICQ owners, are now focusing more on the VK Messaging app.

ICQ Is Shutting Down from June 26 Onwards

You probably remember the days when the Internet was still a scarce commodity and you used the popular ICQ app to keep in touch with your family and friends.

Sadly, ICQ is now shutting down. VK, the Russian company that owns ICQ, posted a message on Friday that simply reads “ICQ will stop working from June 26”.

ICQ was all the rage during the late 90s and early 2000s. The app became so popular that it hit the 100 million user mark in 2001, just within 4 years of its launch.

This explosive growth was attributed to strong word of mouth and viral marketing. It was also among the first Internet instant messaging software, which offered a new communication channel to the masses.

ICQ users would get a unique number, which they could use for real-time chats. You could even text people if they were offline, which was very uncommon at that time.

Increasing Competition

ICQ was started in 1996 by Mirabilis, an Israeli company. It was bought by AOL in 1998 and then sold to Digital Sky Technologies, the parent company of VK, in 2010.

The apps have been delisted from the app stores at least since July 2023.

Fast forward to 2024, ICQ has lost its initial charm to modern competition like WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, and other instant messaging apps. At a time when these platforms are moving towards AI updates, ICQ seems to be miles behind them.

VK tried to keep up with the quickly evolving Internet messaging landscape. ICQ did offer iOS and Android apps, which never really took off. But it seems that VK has finally abandoned ICQ for good.

VK is now focusing on VK Messenger, Russia’s homegrown instant messaging app. In fact, the ICQ shutdown message redirects users to the VK Messenger and VK WorkSpace apps.

However, the official ICQ X handle has posted a cryptic GIF, which says “I’ll be back’. Whether this is a hint of a comeback, only time will tell.

‘In its heyday/90s, ICQ supported over 2M simultaneous users – that’s an amazing feat of engineering! Kudos to everyone who built and ran that platform.’ – ICQ User

Users expressed disappointment seeing ICQ retire, with many of them requesting the app not to leave.

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