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    ICQ is finally offline – Messenger goes offline

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    Once 100 million users
    ICQ is finally offline – Messenger goes offline

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    At the beginning of the century, the messenger service ICQ was a giant in terms of fast online communication. The company was once worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the AOL corporation. When they later sold it to a Russian company, it had already passed its peak. Now it's all over.

    After almost 28 years it's over: the messenger ICQ has been shut down for good.”Service stopped working,” it says on the the service's website, which is operated from Russia. ICQ had already lost its appeal in recent years. At its peak in the early 2000s, the service claimed to have more than 100 million accounts.

    The platform was developed in 1996 by a group of Israeli programmers. Users were supposed to be able to contact each other in real time, a novelty at the time. The name ICQ comes from the English phrase “I seek you”. Another characteristic feature of ICQ was the “Ah-Oh” signal when new messages were received.

    In 1998, the service was bought by the Internet provider AOL for several hundred million dollars and developed into the market leader. When it was sold in 2010 to the Russian company VKontakte, which now also operates the local Facebook clone VK, ICQ had already passed its peak. On the service's website, users are advised to switch to another VK messenger.

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