Uh-oh! ICQ Is Shutting Down After 28 Years

Uh -oh! For some of us geeks who grew up in the era of ICQ in the late 90s and early 2000s, we would be familiar with that iconic alert whenever we received a message. Finally, after 28 years, and in an era where it has already been forgotten years ago, ICQ is shutting down for good, with a message that simply reads “ICQ will stop working from June 26.”

Back in its heyday, it used to be one of the most popular instant messaging services, alongside MSN Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger. ICQ was started in 1996 by an Israeli company Mirabilis (oh the nostalgia). It was then bought by AOL in 1998, which peaked at almost 100 million registered users. It was eventually sold to Digital Sky Technologies (owned by Russian company Mail.ru, which eventually became VK) in 2010.

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Oddly enough, till this very day, I still remember my ICQ account ID (#4991453 – since it doesn’t matter anymore, so no harm throwing it out). I even remember logging back in over a decade ago just to see what it was like and see if there was anyone still online. But alas it was a desert wasteland as expected.

It seems the iOS and Android app has already been delisted from the App Store and Google Play Store several months ago. This notice on its official website is simply the final nail in its coffin. R.I.P. ICQ. Though you have been long forgotten years ago, your “Uh-oh!” alert will forever remain in the minds of some of us older geeks.