What happened to ICQ?

Danny asks “Why did we all stop using ICQ?”

I’ll tell you why (I was a very early user of ICQ, which was the first instant messaging client that I remembered seeing. It was sold to AOL eventually where it never got best of class status, always remaining spiritually behind AOL’s other IM client, AIM).

For me IM started sucking more and more until it got to the point that today I can’t use it.

Why? Everytime I start it up I get a flurry of messages. Unlike Twitter IM has an expectation that you’ll answer it sometime soon.

But that’s my problem and I’m an outlier. So why did everyone else stop using ICQ?

It got too cluttered and stopped being developed. In 1996 it seemed like there was a new feature every few days. At some point after 2001 it stopped seeing radical improvements.

I think they were scared of taking stuff out which people liked, too, which made it hard to improve.

Today Facebook and Twitter (and Pownce and Jaiku) have totally replaced IM for me.

How about for you?

PS my ICQ number was 165361. That means I was the 65,361′st person to use it. I haven’t turned it on for years, though.

Comments

  1. I stopped using ICQ because it was too resource intensive for my machine at the time, so it got uninstalled. My friends started using MSN, so I had to follow … didn’t know of a way IMs could communicate with each other.

    ICQ stopped in 2000, started MSN in early 2001.

    I don’t remember my ICQ number, and that’s annoying.

  2. I stopped using ICQ because it was too resource intensive for my machine at the time, so it got uninstalled. My friends started using MSN, so I had to follow … didn’t know of a way IMs could communicate with each other.

    ICQ stopped in 2000, started MSN in early 2001.

    I don’t remember my ICQ number, and that’s annoying.

  3. I stopped using ICQ, cause it got static, and well everyone had migrated to MSN then, so i flocked with the crowd.

    My ICQ no was 70461477 … thats a long way away from you robert .

  4. I stopped using ICQ, cause it got static, and well everyone had migrated to MSN then, so i flocked with the crowd.

    My ICQ no was 70461477 … thats a long way away from you robert .

  5. I have an ICQ account since 1997 but indeed I hardly ever log in to that. I still have got some buddies on ICQ but most of them are now on MSN/Live Messenger (which can “talk” to Yahoo contacts too, via federation – which is awesome as I have some more buddies on Yahoo too).

  6. I have an ICQ account since 1997 but indeed I hardly ever log in to that. I still have got some buddies on ICQ but most of them are now on MSN/Live Messenger (which can “talk” to Yahoo contacts too, via federation – which is awesome as I have some more buddies on Yahoo too).

  7. The ICQ client became bulky around 2000, I moved to Miranda (then later Adium). Same as the other comments, all my friends moved to MSN and now Facebook. My ICQ was 38289629.

  8. The ICQ client became bulky around 2000, I moved to Miranda (then later Adium). Same as the other comments, all my friends moved to MSN and now Facebook. My ICQ was 38289629.

  9. ICQ? Started using it in 1996, unfortunately I lost the first number I had so got a new one in 1998, 17215559. I still remember it. Wow. It’s about the only way of contacting me from 9 years ago that still works.

    I do still use it. Or at least I’m still signed in to it – these days I use Adium, so I don’t really pay too much attention to what network people I’m talking to are on.

  10. ICQ? Started using it in 1996, unfortunately I lost the first number I had so got a new one in 1998, 17215559. I still remember it. Wow. It’s about the only way of contacting me from 9 years ago that still works.

    I do still use it. Or at least I’m still signed in to it – these days I use Adium, so I don’t really pay too much attention to what network people I’m talking to are on.

  11. I used ICQ in university (1995/1996) where it ran perfectly fine on the SGI machines. Had a fairly low number if I remember it correctly. Stopped using it because everyone I knew and wanted to contact regularly was moving to MSN.

  12. I used ICQ in university (1995/1996) where it ran perfectly fine on the SGI machines. Had a fairly low number if I remember it correctly. Stopped using it because everyone I knew and wanted to contact regularly was moving to MSN.

  13. Sorry, but I just can’t stop using it (from 1996). Not because I like it, but because of the many buddies using it as well

  14. Sorry, but I just can’t stop using it (from 1996). Not because I like it, but because of the many buddies using it as well

  15. I think my ICQ number was 211865112. I haven’t used the actual IM clients in years as I came to favor Gaim (now Pidgin). I cut off my ICQ account when I started getting too many “buddy request” spam messages. I started having the same problem with MSN as well, so I stopped using it. I still use AIM and Yahoo! Messenger (through Pidgin) and I don’t have problems with spam as of yet.

  16. I think my ICQ number was 211865112. I haven’t used the actual IM clients in years as I came to favor Gaim (now Pidgin). I cut off my ICQ account when I started getting too many “buddy request” spam messages. I started having the same problem with MSN as well, so I stopped using it. I still use AIM and Yahoo! Messenger (through Pidgin) and I don’t have problems with spam as of yet.

  17. On an old machine ICQ 97 was on there, and I signed up. I wasn’t sure what I was signing up for, but I knew I got a number. I wish I still had that today. I recently rejoined becasuse I knew a couple of people with it, and Kopete supported it.

  18. On an old machine ICQ 97 was on there, and I signed up. I wasn’t sure what I was signing up for, but I knew I got a number. I wish I still had that today. I recently rejoined becasuse I knew a couple of people with it, and Kopete supported it.

  19. I’m still using AIM and Yahoo IM, which keep off if I want to get something done, but these days more and more people I know are migrating to Skype, mostly for the SkypeOut.

    Now if only Pidgin had a Skype plugin…

    Oh yeah – 112024!

  20. I’m still using AIM and Yahoo IM, which keep off if I want to get something done, but these days more and more people I know are migrating to Skype, mostly for the SkypeOut.

    Now if only Pidgin had a Skype plugin…

    Oh yeah – 112024!

  21. Remember the Pentium FDIV bug back in 1994? Intel created a call center to take care of all the replacements and I took a temp job doing that. Hey, it was great pay at the time, and they really treated us well! Still don’t understand what “floating point” means, but oh well.

    Anyway, one of the leads there was this nice looking guy, probably about 25 years old. One day he signed me on using his own password, so I could do something or other for him. I started getting these notices like I had never seen before. Didn’t even know instant messages were possible till they started popping up on my screen.

    They were from a young woman working in the call center who drove an expensive convertible and came to work in very short skirts telling people she didn’t wear panties.

    So I’m seeing these messages from her — she thinking that I’m this young man — and it quickly becomes clear that they are having an affair. I happened to know he had a pregnant wife at home. Bastard.

    She started getting upset that I wasn’t responding to her messages. Ha! So I finally did.

    My first experience with instant messaging. It would be years before I encountered it again.

  22. Remember the Pentium FDIV bug back in 1994? Intel created a call center to take care of all the replacements and I took a temp job doing that. Hey, it was great pay at the time, and they really treated us well! Still don’t understand what “floating point” means, but oh well.

    Anyway, one of the leads there was this nice looking guy, probably about 25 years old. One day he signed me on using his own password, so I could do something or other for him. I started getting these notices like I had never seen before. Didn’t even know instant messages were possible till they started popping up on my screen.

    They were from a young woman working in the call center who drove an expensive convertible and came to work in very short skirts telling people she didn’t wear panties.

    So I’m seeing these messages from her — she thinking that I’m this young man — and it quickly becomes clear that they are having an affair. I happened to know he had a pregnant wife at home. Bastard.

    She started getting upset that I wasn’t responding to her messages. Ha! So I finally did.

    My first experience with instant messaging. It would be years before I encountered it again.

  23. I still use ICQ, with trillian of course, but ICQ is still my preferred account. I have never made the switch to AIM or MSN, fight the power!

  24. I still use ICQ for some messaging but I am increasingly not using services that don’t use SSL like GTalk or other Jabber nexus points.

    MSN and AIM are worthless, because you can be spied upon your LAN or any network point along the way.

    Worse than useless. Ask anyone in govt if they are allowed to use MSN, AOL AIM or any other unsecure network and they will all say no.

    Gaim, now Pidgin, and Trillian make chat transparent so it doesn’t matter what network you’re on. The only difference is the security.

    If you use MSN or AIM, you may as well use little cups with strings connecting them or shouting at your neighbour from across the street. Insecure, and the protocols are not professional.
    I wrote an IM client like trillian 7 years ago, and they are still using the same legacy code today at MSN and AOL.

    http://www.igniterealtime.org/downloads/index.jsp
    You can install openfire on your server in 10 minutes and start using secure instant messaging. Run your own MSN or AOL and it’s 100% compatible with Trillian and Gaim, now Pigdin
    It has a handy web interface and uses MySQL. You just need to install the java rpm first from Sun.

    If the govt and enterprise won’t use MSN, ICQ and AOL AIM, why would you?

  25. I still use ICQ for some messaging but I am increasingly not using services that don’t use SSL like GTalk or other Jabber nexus points.

    MSN and AIM are worthless, because you can be spied upon your LAN or any network point along the way.

    Worse than useless. Ask anyone in govt if they are allowed to use MSN, AOL AIM or any other unsecure network and they will all say no.

    Gaim, now Pidgin, and Trillian make chat transparent so it doesn’t matter what network you’re on. The only difference is the security.

    If you use MSN or AIM, you may as well use little cups with strings connecting them or shouting at your neighbour from across the street. Insecure, and the protocols are not professional.
    I wrote an IM client like trillian 7 years ago, and they are still using the same legacy code today at MSN and AOL.

    http://www.igniterealtime.org/downloads/index.jsp
    You can install openfire on your server in 10 minutes and start using secure instant messaging. Run your own MSN or AOL and it’s 100% compatible with Trillian and Gaim, now Pigdin
    It has a handy web interface and uses MySQL. You just need to install the java rpm first from Sun.

    If the govt and enterprise won’t use MSN, ICQ and AOL AIM, why would you?

  26. I still use ICQ, with trillian of course, but ICQ is still my preferred account. I have never made the switch to AIM or MSN, fight the power!

  27. To clarify, in the first paragraph, I mean that I in fact am using GTalk or other Jabber nexus points in favour of insecure MSN, AIM or ICQ.

  28. To clarify, in the first paragraph, I mean that I in fact am using GTalk or other Jabber nexus points in favour of insecure MSN, AIM or ICQ.

  29. ICQ used to be great. It was a nice lightweight IM client. AOL bought it, shortly afterwards adverts started appearing and turned into bloatware that never came out of beta. That’s when I stopped using it.

    I have fond memories of ICQ though, without it, I would never have met my wife. However, that was long before it was started being advertised as a way to date people.

    I thought I had a small ICQ number ( 1292359 ), you beat it by quite a bit.

  30. ICQ used to be great. It was a nice lightweight IM client. AOL bought it, shortly afterwards adverts started appearing and turned into bloatware that never came out of beta. That’s when I stopped using it.

    I have fond memories of ICQ though, without it, I would never have met my wife. However, that was long before it was started being advertised as a way to date people.

    I thought I had a small ICQ number ( 1292359 ), you beat it by quite a bit.

  31. I still use ICQ and I’ve been using it for 10+ years now. I think it’s awesome! It’s the only way I keep in touch with some old friends. I don’t have thier phone no, email, just thier ICQ.

    I’ve stopped using the ICQ official client in 1999-2000 when it started to get bulky and bloated. But hey! There’s a ton of good renegade software out there, of witch Audium is the best (I think).

    But there’s a shit. All my 25+ friends still running ICQ but if I have to talk with somone younger I have to use MSN, but there’s no problem since Pidgin or Adium let me be on both networks with the same application!

    Sure, the security is crap. But so is IRC as well. But there are good security plugins both for both Pidgin, Adium and various IRC clients that work without any hustle!

  32. I still use ICQ and I’ve been using it for 10+ years now. I think it’s awesome! It’s the only way I keep in touch with some old friends. I don’t have thier phone no, email, just thier ICQ.

    I’ve stopped using the ICQ official client in 1999-2000 when it started to get bulky and bloated. But hey! There’s a ton of good renegade software out there, of witch Audium is the best (I think).

    But there’s a shit. All my 25+ friends still running ICQ but if I have to talk with somone younger I have to use MSN, but there’s no problem since Pidgin or Adium let me be on both networks with the same application!

    Sure, the security is crap. But so is IRC as well. But there are good security plugins both for both Pidgin, Adium and various IRC clients that work without any hustle!

  33. I think what killed ICQ was cross promotion.

    AOL cross promoted AIM with it’s other services, Microsoft cross promoted MSN Messenger with it’s other services, and Yahoo’s IM was cross promoted with it’s other offerings. This strategy effectively shut ICQ, which didn’t have any other services to offer, out.

    This is, btw, the same strategy Google has used to devastatingly effective ends. If you use one Google service they put another one right in front of you to streamline whatever you’re doing.

  34. I think what killed ICQ was cross promotion.

    AOL cross promoted AIM with it’s other services, Microsoft cross promoted MSN Messenger with it’s other services, and Yahoo’s IM was cross promoted with it’s other offerings. This strategy effectively shut ICQ, which didn’t have any other services to offer, out.

    This is, btw, the same strategy Google has used to devastatingly effective ends. If you use one Google service they put another one right in front of you to streamline whatever you’re doing.

  35. Isn’t that interesting that you remember your number. I remember mine too (27275182). I don’t generally tend to remember numbers, but I remember that one even nearly 8 years after I quit using it.

  36. Isn’t that interesting that you remember your number. I remember mine too (27275182). I don’t generally tend to remember numbers, but I remember that one even nearly 8 years after I quit using it.

  37. My old ICQ number was 33005448. I got a ton of spam, so I disallowed requests.

    Since ICQ is part of AIM, you can add ICQ contacts to your AIM buddy list. I’ve added the 2 or 3 people I want to talk to on ICQ to my AIM list so I never have to log in to ICQ any more.

  38. My old ICQ number was 33005448. I got a ton of spam, so I disallowed requests.

    Since ICQ is part of AIM, you can add ICQ contacts to your AIM buddy list. I’ve added the 2 or 3 people I want to talk to on ICQ to my AIM list so I never have to log in to ICQ any more.

  39. I found ICQ irritating and distracting in general. Something about the design was unattractive and I can’t even remember when I stopped using it but I just did and never looked back.

  40. I found ICQ irritating and distracting in general. Something about the design was unattractive and I can’t even remember when I stopped using it but I just did and never looked back.

  41. People moved from ICQ to commercial solutions.

    From Messaging News:

    “[Lee] Weiner [senior product manager with Symantec] says that IM continues to be the fastest growing communications medium, with an estimated 484 million enterprise and consumer users by the end of 2007. The Radicati Group estimates that IM is used in 85 percent of all enterprises in North America, and global services such as AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger report a total of more than 15 billion messages sent per day.

  42. People moved from ICQ to commercial solutions.

    From Messaging News:

    “[Lee] Weiner [senior product manager with Symantec] says that IM continues to be the fastest growing communications medium, with an estimated 484 million enterprise and consumer users by the end of 2007. The Radicati Group estimates that IM is used in 85 percent of all enterprises in North America, and global services such as AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger report a total of more than 15 billion messages sent per day.

  43. ICQ#: 1695789.

    I stopped using ICQ around the time that the number of messages I got from random people in Brazil ans SPAM started exceeding the number of messages from my actual friends (who were all moving to other IM clients, mostly AIM).

  44. ICQ#: 1695789.

    I stopped using ICQ around the time that the number of messages I got from random people in Brazil ans SPAM started exceeding the number of messages from my actual friends (who were all moving to other IM clients, mostly AIM).

  45. I was 2638950, pretty early but not quite as early as Scoble. I still have it setup on my Adium client…I think. I honestly don’t know if I use it any more but I feel compelled to set it up with each machine I setup with IM.

    I always thought that it was funny I don’t remember my own phone number sometimes, but if anyone ever asks me my ICQ number I can rattle it off right away.

  46. I was 2638950, pretty early but not quite as early as Scoble. I still have it setup on my Adium client…I think. I honestly don’t know if I use it any more but I feel compelled to set it up with each machine I setup with IM.

    I always thought that it was funny I don’t remember my own phone number sometimes, but if anyone ever asks me my ICQ number I can rattle it off right away.

  47. Looking back…I think I had an ICQ number before my 2638950 and I thought I started with a 1, but I forgot it and had to get the current number…

  48. Looking back…I think I had an ICQ number before my 2638950 and I thought I started with a 1, but I forgot it and had to get the current number…

  49. I think part of it might have to do with ICQ’s totally non-user friendly “user names”. Back in the early days of IM, IIRC, there were no buddy icons or even rich text. AIM came along and allowed us the least bit of individuality in choosing screen names and that helped a ton. Not only with self-expression (however limited), but also with personal branding and how much easier it was to remember screen names of a random number (though buddy lists almost make this a non-issue).

    It also helped that AIM allowed interoperability with AOL much sooner than ICQ did.

  50. I think part of it might have to do with ICQ’s totally non-user friendly “user names”. Back in the early days of IM, IIRC, there were no buddy icons or even rich text. AIM came along and allowed us the least bit of individuality in choosing screen names and that helped a ton. Not only with self-expression (however limited), but also with personal branding and how much easier it was to remember screen names of a random number (though buddy lists almost make this a non-issue).

    It also helped that AIM allowed interoperability with AOL much sooner than ICQ did.

  51. I wouldn’t even know how to look up my number. Being 26 now, when ICQ came out I was about 13. My friends and I used it all the time and even were connecting with people we didn’t know. It definately got scrapped under the rug once aol IM came out. I’ve been using aol since about 15, with the same name infact. I definately agree to the pain of using it now as the many ad screens that come up, along with the new email they forced everyone into, that sends junk automatically. I have actually found serenity in using meebo. It is webbased, has user name abilities for aol, gmail, msn, jabber and even now ICQ, all at the same time. Now it should add in Twitter soon too. :)

  52. I wouldn’t even know how to look up my number. Being 26 now, when ICQ came out I was about 13. My friends and I used it all the time and even were connecting with people we didn’t know. It definately got scrapped under the rug once aol IM came out. I’ve been using aol since about 15, with the same name infact. I definately agree to the pain of using it now as the many ad screens that come up, along with the new email they forced everyone into, that sends junk automatically. I have actually found serenity in using meebo. It is webbased, has user name abilities for aol, gmail, msn, jabber and even now ICQ, all at the same time. Now it should add in Twitter soon too. :)

  53. The reason is simple: When I switched computers, I lost all my contacts, since contacts weren’t stored on the server.

    I switched to MSN because of this.

  54. The reason is simple: When I switched computers, I lost all my contacts, since contacts weren’t stored on the server.

    I switched to MSN because of this.

  55. 137585900. Had to learn to remember it because in Ultima Online, that was how you did offline business transactions. Bizarrely similar to the student ID number I got 6 years later; a couple digits apart.

  56. 137585900. Had to learn to remember it because in Ultima Online, that was how you did offline business transactions. Bizarrely similar to the student ID number I got 6 years later; a couple digits apart.

  57. ICQ was great!! I met so many people from around the world on ICQ. In fact I still keep in touch with a few of them but by AIM or MSN. I could dig up my ICQ number but it doesn’t matter anymore. Pownce, Jaiku, Twitter, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Gtalk…. Take your pick. iChat too.

  58. ICQ was great!! I met so many people from around the world on ICQ. In fact I still keep in touch with a few of them but by AIM or MSN. I could dig up my ICQ number but it doesn’t matter anymore. Pownce, Jaiku, Twitter, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Gtalk…. Take your pick. iChat too.

  59. Dang. You might be the first person I’ve met with a lower # than me. I was 184667.

    Can’t believe I can still rattle that off. That’s a chunk of my brain that’ll never get reclaimed. :)

    I think ICQ’s decline coincided with AOL’s acquisition of it, btw.

  60. Dang. You might be the first person I’ve met with a lower # than me. I was 184667.

    Can’t believe I can still rattle that off. That’s a chunk of my brain that’ll never get reclaimed. :)

    I think ICQ’s decline coincided with AOL’s acquisition of it, btw.

  61. Couple old ICQ’ers here, I see… I’m 160739 (and still use the service on a daily basis.) I noticed that participation declined a few years ago since most other networks allowed storage of contacts on the server. Also, I noticed that as younger people signed up (I’ll be 26 in a couple weeks…that makes me an IM old-timer! ;) they tended to head straight to AIM or (even younger people) MSN as ICQ had a clunky, unintuitive interface. With Trillian, you can turn on all the IM networks at the same time, but ICQ never lived down its terrible interface decisions from years ago (and a bloated client that kept growing in size but didn’t have many new features to show for it.) Also, I think AOL heavily promoted AIM over ICQ after they bought ICQ, and they had the web-based client for AIM way before they did anything like that for ICQ.

  62. Couple old ICQ’ers here, I see… I’m 160739 (and still use the service on a daily basis.) I noticed that participation declined a few years ago since most other networks allowed storage of contacts on the server. Also, I noticed that as younger people signed up (I’ll be 26 in a couple weeks…that makes me an IM old-timer! ;) they tended to head straight to AIM or (even younger people) MSN as ICQ had a clunky, unintuitive interface. With Trillian, you can turn on all the IM networks at the same time, but ICQ never lived down its terrible interface decisions from years ago (and a bloated client that kept growing in size but didn’t have many new features to show for it.) Also, I think AOL heavily promoted AIM over ICQ after they bought ICQ, and they had the web-based client for AIM way before they did anything like that for ICQ.

  63. Still use it every day. Actually, I have two ICQ accounts, but they’re seamless for me. Yay for Trillian. Been using Trillian as my IM client since it came out. I like Trillian because I can be on all the services I need to be on through one client, even little-used protocols like GroupWise Messenger.

  64. Still use it every day. Actually, I have two ICQ accounts, but they’re seamless for me. Yay for Trillian. Been using Trillian as my IM client since it came out. I like Trillian because I can be on all the services I need to be on through one client, even little-used protocols like GroupWise Messenger.

  65. I stopped using it because, like others have already said, it became too bloated. I started using in ’96. I don’t remember my first account number, but the last one I had was 18697294. I occasionally sign in whenever I start up Trillian.

  66. I stopped using it because, like others have already said, it became too bloated. I started using in ’96. I don’t remember my first account number, but the last one I had was 18697294. I occasionally sign in whenever I start up Trillian.

  67. I stopped using ICQ because it was so annoying, I remember thinking many times that I should build one myself, it would be so much more better than ICQ or IRC. Then came MSN and I didn’t have to think anymore. It was almost all we needed. But MSN messenger also got to annoying kids toy so now I am using gTalk now, it’s simple and nice though, not many contacts there.

  68. I stopped using ICQ because it was so annoying, I remember thinking many times that I should build one myself, it would be so much more better than ICQ or IRC. Then came MSN and I didn’t have to think anymore. It was almost all we needed. But MSN messenger also got to annoying kids toy so now I am using gTalk now, it’s simple and nice though, not many contacts there.

  69. I have a 6 digit number in the 300k range (which I know by heart) and still use it every day via Trillian or Adium along with AIM/Yahoo/MSN to talk to mostly work people, or old contacts I’ve known for 10+ years.

    ICQ started storing contacts server side long ago (I think), and the one benefit it has over all the other major services I’m on is that it’s the only one that caches messages on the server side if a contact is offline. For me, this is essential. Someone messages me while I’m out, and I can message them right back even if they’re offline by the time I see the message.

    I realize then I’m using the client more like email than a true ‘instant’ messaging service, but it’s nice to be able to use the same service for both online and offline messaging without having to worry if that person is online or not and then switch services accordingly.

  70. I have a 6 digit number in the 300k range (which I know by heart) and still use it every day via Trillian or Adium along with AIM/Yahoo/MSN to talk to mostly work people, or old contacts I’ve known for 10+ years.

    ICQ started storing contacts server side long ago (I think), and the one benefit it has over all the other major services I’m on is that it’s the only one that caches messages on the server side if a contact is offline. For me, this is essential. Someone messages me while I’m out, and I can message them right back even if they’re offline by the time I see the message.

    I realize then I’m using the client more like email than a true ‘instant’ messaging service, but it’s nice to be able to use the same service for both online and offline messaging without having to worry if that person is online or not and then switch services accordingly.

  71. My number was 1655940, but I haven’t logged on in many, many years. I stopped using ICQ about the time that it was acquired by AOL.

    For me its downfall was mostly about bloat. When I first started using ICQ it was a small simple client that did what it did, and did it extremely well. It allowed chat, it allowed file sharing, and that was about it.

    But then it suffered the same fate that has befallen most IM clients: it decided to try to be all things to all people. The glut of advertising toolbars, etc, was the final straw.

    I remember ICQ fondly, but unfortunately it, and its ilk, are just part of the history of the Internet.

  72. My number was 1655940, but I haven’t logged on in many, many years. I stopped using ICQ about the time that it was acquired by AOL.

    For me its downfall was mostly about bloat. When I first started using ICQ it was a small simple client that did what it did, and did it extremely well. It allowed chat, it allowed file sharing, and that was about it.

    But then it suffered the same fate that has befallen most IM clients: it decided to try to be all things to all people. The glut of advertising toolbars, etc, was the final straw.

    I remember ICQ fondly, but unfortunately it, and its ilk, are just part of the history of the Internet.

  73. I never got on ICQ because the concept that you had a number to remember and not a name, seemed archaic. I figured if something as basic as names were archaic, the rest of it couldn’t be anything spectacular.

  74. I never got on ICQ because the concept that you had a number to remember and not a name, seemed archaic. I figured if something as basic as names were archaic, the rest of it couldn’t be anything spectacular.

  75. My first IM network was called PowWow. But almost nobody was using it. Eventually I got on the ICQ bandwagon, but like a lot of commenters here, there was a mass exodus to MSN. These days I go weeks or even months without using IM. I seem to have gone back to email and phone calls. I feel like an old fart!

    Another thing I stopped using was Slashdot. My number there is less than 1600.

  76. My first IM network was called PowWow. But almost nobody was using it. Eventually I got on the ICQ bandwagon, but like a lot of commenters here, there was a mass exodus to MSN. These days I go weeks or even months without using IM. I seem to have gone back to email and phone calls. I feel like an old fart!

    Another thing I stopped using was Slashdot. My number there is less than 1600.

  77. Hey, Chris L, I resent you trying to lay claim to being an old fart around here. I gotta be one of the oldest. And I still use IM every day. Mostly I use AIM via either Fire (multi-protocol IM client for OS X) or iChat, but I am also logged on through Yahoo most days.

    I don’t use MSN. I never had more than one colleague who did, so it didn’t seem worthwhile.

    My wife and I use ICQ because nobody “out there” knows our numbers so we can talk to each other without having to let the family and mutual friends know we’re online.

    And I’ve come to like Google Chat as well, though it still needs a good bit of improvement. I don’t Twitter or Pownce; I think my generation must have gotten passed by on that one. (Hell, I’m older than Winer!)

  78. Hey, Chris L, I resent you trying to lay claim to being an old fart around here. I gotta be one of the oldest. And I still use IM every day. Mostly I use AIM via either Fire (multi-protocol IM client for OS X) or iChat, but I am also logged on through Yahoo most days.

    I don’t use MSN. I never had more than one colleague who did, so it didn’t seem worthwhile.

    My wife and I use ICQ because nobody “out there” knows our numbers so we can talk to each other without having to let the family and mutual friends know we’re online.

    And I’ve come to like Google Chat as well, though it still needs a good bit of improvement. I don’t Twitter or Pownce; I think my generation must have gotten passed by on that one. (Hell, I’m older than Winer!)

  79. I remember ICQ! About the only time I’ve slipped up badly with a message meant for one person that headed off to another, higher in the hierarchy. It was my major means of comms in 1997-98 but somehow just slipped away. My Facebook status feeds and Twitter seems to have taken over for me recently though it’s been gone so long now, I’m not sure that they aren’t just answering a different need.

  80. I remember ICQ! About the only time I’ve slipped up badly with a message meant for one person that headed off to another, higher in the hierarchy. It was my major means of comms in 1997-98 but somehow just slipped away. My Facebook status feeds and Twitter seems to have taken over for me recently though it’s been gone so long now, I’m not sure that they aren’t just answering a different need.

  81. I do miss ICQ, the way you chat (with the instant typing) and windows that don’t popup right away. Offline messaging was nice back then. The groups that came and went. (the ones you had to run a server yourself) …
    I too have a 6 digit number. But starting at 7. I had an older account but I forgot the number.

    I stopped using it when 99% of my contacts used msn. And the contact i had on ICQ also had MSN.

  82. I do miss ICQ, the way you chat (with the instant typing) and windows that don’t popup right away. Offline messaging was nice back then. The groups that came and went. (the ones you had to run a server yourself) …
    I too have a 6 digit number. But starting at 7. I had an older account but I forgot the number.

    I stopped using it when 99% of my contacts used msn. And the contact i had on ICQ also had MSN.

  83. ICQ? Reminds me of the college days, that program was awesome. Although, I too remember the tons of messages that I would receive while idle. I actually remember initially using it for live chat, and then the message feature kind of took of.

  84. ICQ? Reminds me of the college days, that program was awesome. Although, I too remember the tons of messages that I would receive while idle. I actually remember initially using it for live chat, and then the message feature kind of took of.

  85. I didn’t like being a number. ICQ also got bloated, and then more bloated. That they finally had to offer a “Lite” version was a good sign they had gone too far.

  86. I didn’t like being a number. ICQ also got bloated, and then more bloated. That they finally had to offer a “Lite” version was a good sign they had gone too far.

  87. I still sign on to ICQ through Pidgin, but I haven’t had the client installed for at least a decade. It’s a fairly low number — 736xxxx — but nearly as low as some upthread. :-)

    When I signed up for AIM back in 97 or so, I picked a name reflecting my MVP status, because I didn’t think any of the other MVPs would be so declasse as to actually use AOL. :-)

  88. I still sign on to ICQ through Pidgin, but I haven’t had the client installed for at least a decade. It’s a fairly low number — 736xxxx — but nearly as low as some upthread. :-)

    When I signed up for AIM back in 97 or so, I picked a name reflecting my MVP status, because I didn’t think any of the other MVPs would be so declasse as to actually use AOL. :-)

  89. The numbers were so more than 1 person could have the same user name. Thats what I hated about the others you had to have username987439876239767 which is worse than a number because you weren’t the first one there. I think popular consensus is once aol got hold of it (also happened with winamp) they wrecked it bought in adverts slowed servers down did all sorts of terrible things which made people jump to msn. Same thing happened to Skype once ebay got hold of it before that it was trim taught and terrific now it has more bugs the vista.

  90. The numbers were so more than 1 person could have the same user name. Thats what I hated about the others you had to have username987439876239767 which is worse than a number because you weren’t the first one there. I think popular consensus is once aol got hold of it (also happened with winamp) they wrecked it bought in adverts slowed servers down did all sorts of terrible things which made people jump to msn. Same thing happened to Skype once ebay got hold of it before that it was trim taught and terrific now it has more bugs the vista.

  91. This post reminded me to add my ICQ account to my Adium. I now have Jabber (aka. Google Talk), MSN, AIM, Yahoo and LiveJournal. I’m waiting for Jabber and OpenID to merge with FOAF and microformats and then we can have the complete open identity stack…

  92. This post reminded me to add my ICQ account to my Adium. I now have Jabber (aka. Google Talk), MSN, AIM, Yahoo and LiveJournal. I’m waiting for Jabber and OpenID to merge with FOAF and microformats and then we can have the complete open identity stack…

  93. I used ICQ for years, then I think it ended like most people when all the requests you would receive where spammers and fools. I actually found a long lost friend over icq and now keep in iregular contact with him over the occasional message.

  94. I used ICQ for years, then I think it ended like most people when all the requests you would receive where spammers and fools. I actually found a long lost friend over icq and now keep in iregular contact with him over the occasional message.

  95. Been using it since I do not know when. My number is 196835.

    I do not use the client. I use Kopete under OpenSUSE..

    Never chat on it anymore, just keep the connection/account alive, sentimental, I suppose..

  96. Been using it since I do not know when. My number is 196835.

    I do not use the client. I use Kopete under OpenSUSE..

    Never chat on it anymore, just keep the connection/account alive, sentimental, I suppose..

  97. Wow… ICQ, I still log in with my 151507 number every time I fire Trillian up, but don’t have any contacts there anymore. I guess MS did with ICQ what they also did with Netscape (funny, both with AOL now), they built MSN into the OS and killed ICQ… all my friends moved over years ago.

  98. Wow… ICQ, I still log in with my 151507 number every time I fire Trillian up, but don’t have any contacts there anymore. I guess MS did with ICQ what they also did with Netscape (funny, both with AOL now), they built MSN into the OS and killed ICQ… all my friends moved over years ago.

  99. Yah I used ICQ for years, it was my first IM client as well. I can’t believe I still remember the number (1152211) as it has probably been at least 5 years since I last signed into it. Not an extremely low number like some of you, but hell it was easy to remember. :)

  100. Yah I used ICQ for years, it was my first IM client as well. I can’t believe I still remember the number (1152211) as it has probably been at least 5 years since I last signed into it. Not an extremely low number like some of you, but hell it was easy to remember. :)

  101. Jabber replace icq no ? But with meebo or pidgin you can use mamy IM système msn, yahoo gtalk etc.. so icq is just one more but you have no voip and no video and I read spam !!!
    So icq is dead ! read wikipedia

  102. Jabber replace icq no ? But with meebo or pidgin you can use mamy IM système msn, yahoo gtalk etc.. so icq is just one more but you have no voip and no video and I read spam !!!
    So icq is dead ! read wikipedia

  103. ICQ was my favorite long time ago. I miss ICQ. Therefore, I decided to install it and give it a try. After I installed it, the UI really disappointed me. The fonts are too small. I’m not sure if I’ve already get used to YM or MSN, the UI is no longer user friendly as it used to be. Less than 10 minutes, I actually uninstall it. I’m very sad… ICQ once was a leader.

  104. ICQ was my favorite long time ago. I miss ICQ. Therefore, I decided to install it and give it a try. After I installed it, the UI really disappointed me. The fonts are too small. I’m not sure if I’ve already get used to YM or MSN, the UI is no longer user friendly as it used to be. Less than 10 minutes, I actually uninstall it. I’m very sad… ICQ once was a leader.

  105. Well, I also miss ICQ dearly. I had many friends on ICQ in the mid/late 90′s. It was a great community. I think MSN killed it. It’s sad but for me MSN for some reason doesn’t have the same geographical distribution as ICQ. There seems to be less incentive to “reach out”?

  106. Well, I also miss ICQ dearly. I had many friends on ICQ in the mid/late 90′s. It was a great community. I think MSN killed it. It’s sad but for me MSN for some reason doesn’t have the same geographical distribution as ICQ. There seems to be less incentive to “reach out”?

  107. “PS my ICQ number was 165361. That means I was the 65,361’st person to use it. I haven’t turned it on for years, though.”

    Dude, try to remember that your ICQ number is
    ICQ#: 16 3 5 61

    Nick Name: scobleizer
    Name: Robert Scoble
    Home Address: USA Santa Clara
    Phone: +1 (408) 551-0481
    Work Address: USA Millbrae
    Phone: +1 (650) 697-5263
    Fax: +1 (650) 292-2147
    Company: UserLand Software
    Gender: Male
    Age: 43
    Birth Date: 18/01/1965
    About:
    Feel free to say hi, but I like it a lot more when you start off by asking me a question.

    Do not mistake your number with mine;)
    16 5 3 61

    Best regards,
    Kai

  108. “PS my ICQ number was 165361. That means I was the 65,361’st person to use it. I haven’t turned it on for years, though.”

    Dude, try to remember that your ICQ number is
    ICQ#: 16 3 5 61

    Nick Name: scobleizer
    Name: Robert Scoble
    Home Address: USA Santa Clara
    Phone: +1 (408) 551-0481
    Work Address: USA Millbrae
    Phone: +1 (650) 697-5263
    Fax: +1 (650) 292-2147
    Company: UserLand Software
    Gender: Male
    Age: 43
    Birth Date: 18/01/1965
    About:
    Feel free to say hi, but I like it a lot more when you start off by asking me a question.

    Do not mistake your number with mine;)
    16 5 3 61

    Best regards,
    Kai

  109. I haven’t used ICQ in years, but I was very proud of my old UIN (103091) back in the day. It’s sitting there dormant with a rather stupid info message. I think I probably stopped using it around 2001 or 2002.

    Anyway, it being such a low number, Russian hackers got a hold of it in 2000 or so for a while before I was able to get the account back. I remember arguing with the guy on a different UIN for a while before they added the option to retrieve to the e-mail address you signed up with. Funny how I was so upset about a 6 digit number back then.

    I thought about retrieving the password and logging in to see if anyone was still on there, but the ICQ website won’t allow me to retrieve for some reason.

  110. I haven’t used ICQ in years, but I was very proud of my old UIN (103091) back in the day. It’s sitting there dormant with a rather stupid info message. I think I probably stopped using it around 2001 or 2002.

    Anyway, it being such a low number, Russian hackers got a hold of it in 2000 or so for a while before I was able to get the account back. I remember arguing with the guy on a different UIN for a while before they added the option to retrieve to the e-mail address you signed up with. Funny how I was so upset about a 6 digit number back then.

    I thought about retrieving the password and logging in to see if anyone was still on there, but the ICQ website won’t allow me to retrieve for some reason.

  111. I loved ICQ, it was such a massive part of my growing up from 1998 until around 2003 when I migrated to MSN as no one was on ICQ any longer. Its quite erie looking through my contacts list and seeing all these accounts that used to be online every night but most won’t have been used for 6/7 years and probably forgotten about completely.

    Its very strange how I too remember my ICQ numbers ( I have two, 27224550 and 56376571)

    I will always be thankful to ICQ for helping me meet so many nice people and also for letting me chat to and find my first proper long term girlfriend!

  112. I loved ICQ, it was such a massive part of my growing up from 1998 until around 2003 when I migrated to MSN as no one was on ICQ any longer. Its quite erie looking through my contacts list and seeing all these accounts that used to be online every night but most won’t have been used for 6/7 years and probably forgotten about completely.

    Its very strange how I too remember my ICQ numbers ( I have two, 27224550 and 56376571)

    I will always be thankful to ICQ for helping me meet so many nice people and also for letting me chat to and find my first proper long term girlfriend!

  113. I use to use the random chat all the time and had quite a bit of fun with it. I just downloaded ICQ and it appears to be no more??? What a disappointment! My new number is 557379915

  114. I use to use the random chat all the time and had quite a bit of fun with it. I just downloaded ICQ and it appears to be no more??? What a disappointment! My new number is 557379915