ICQ to close on 26 June 2024

27 May 2024


Another artefact of the early days of the (mainstream) internet will soon be no more. Instant messaging service, ICQ, launched in 1996, will cease operating, as of Wednesday 26 June 2024.

ICQ (I seek you, get it?) allowed users to chat to pretty much anyone who let them. I can’t remember when I stopped using ICQ, probably over twenty-years ago, but it was a fun way to communicate with people, even if you had no idea — really — who most of them were.

About the last time I used ICQ, as I recall, was after chatting with someone who claimed to a software developer, somewhere in Western Europe. He, or she, or they, seemed quite pleasant to talk to on the one occasion we did, but soon after their account appeared to go inactive.

A few months later though, they began sending dire messages, warning me my computer had been infected by a virus that would destroy all the data on the hard drive.

As it happened, I bought a new computer a few weeks later, and having not used ICQ for some time by that point, decided not to install the application on the new device.

Like everything else from those early days, I’m sure the contemporary ICQ experience would be worlds removed from that of the late 1990’s. So, another one bites the dust. At least we still have Hotmail, and our personal websites. For now, anyway.