ICQ is EOL: 28-year-old chat service to shut

ICQ was one of the great dot-com era chat services and outlived AIM by seven years. But it too is being taken out back, by VK, the company that ended up owning and operating it.

ICQ will stop working from June 26. You can chat with friends in VK Messenger, and with colleagues in VK WorkSpace

Ignominious yet consise. See ya. It seems that it was effectively dead anyway. "I have more of a client than a protocol," that sort of thing. And maybe a millstone around its owner's neck due to moderation costs. History:

ICQ was started in 1996 by Israeli company Mirabilis, which AOL bought in 1998. ICQ grew to 100 million registered users at one point, at least according to a 2001 release from Time Warner, which had bought AOL a year earlier in a famously doomed merger. AOL sold the service to Digital Sky Technologies, the firm that owned VK, then known as Mail.ru, in 2010.

My recollection is of bouncing hard off ICQ because it transmitted as you typed, meaning other users would see your typos and half-formed ideas and errors of judgement happen live. But I did eventually sell my account for real American money because it had a memorable number.

Your first Internet moment
Reverse-engineering Whatsapp, to let us talk to our friends without Facebook's oversight
Gaim 2.0 beta released