Instant messaging service ICQ is shutting down after 27 years

One of the oldest, still-running online platforms is finally closing its doors after 27 years. ICQ, a once-popular instant messaging service, announced on Friday via its website that it would be shutting down next month. “ICQ will stop working from June 26,” reads a message on “You can chat with friends in VK Messenger, and with colleagues in VK WorkSpace.”The alternative recommendations are messaging platforms belonging to VK, a Russia-based social media platform popular in the country and works much like Facebook. VK acquired ICQ in 2010 from AOL, which had bought the service in 1998.The first of the instant messengers ICQ is considered one of, if not the earliest instant messaging service on the internet. The platform, named after the phrase “I Seek You,” was developed by a small Israeli company named Mirabilis and launched in November 1996. ICQ predates other popular IM services like AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) which became synonymous with the instant messaging space.From the mid-90s up until the aughts, instant messaging services reigned supreme on the internet. Services like AIM, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger backed by the online tech giants of the time, served as one of the the prime ways in which internet users interacted before social media.However, despite these big competitors, ICQ caught on among the early adopters of the internet. In 1998, its biggest rival, AOL acquired the company for an upfront payment of $287 million, followed by an additional $120 million over three years based on the services’ performance. In 2001, AOL announced…Instant messaging service ICQ is shutting down after 27 years