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Other IM clients[edit]

This article seems needly condescending towards other IM clients and protocols. Yes, ICQ is nice, but how does saying that other clients try to attract people with colors add to the understanding of what ICQ is?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:36, 16 November 2005

Is it spyware[edit]

Is it spyware? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:19, 21 July 2005

Perhaps it is spyware, but as of now it isn't harmful and probably will not be in the near future. AOL Time Warner would be devastated by numerous lawsuits if they ever tried to use the ICQ password and username memorization. However, that is not to say it won't be possible that a tool could be developed to harvest these usernames and passwords via ICQ - a tempting security hole to exploit to the would-be hacker. King 08:54, September 1, 2005 (UTC)

I can remember during the time when ICQ was open source, in 1993 and 1994, how a lot of hackers in newsgroups were talking about how, when ICQ was released, they were going to use it to hack in to other people's computers and take over their accounts. This eventually is what happened when it was released in 1996 (one of the big dangers of making something open source). Whilst the final stages were performed in secret by Mirabilis, most hackers knew basically what the code was, and hence how to exploit it. There was a major hole in ICQ in that in the first versions that were released, you could see the IP address of whoever you were talking to (the same as how you could in y-talk or IRC). But people used this to send sneaky trojan horses that they then used to take over the computer. There was a way to send things that did not require a permission, if you by passed certain elements of the code.

Later versions, of course, went to pains to fix up these kinds of holes, and I think it was 1998 when the version then (ICQ 3?) stopped displaying your IP address. At first, it was an option, then it became the default option, then it became compulsory. Even still, hackers who have access to the source code circa 1996 (I think it was about March 1996 when it stopped being open source, if memory serves) still have a pretty fair idea of how to hack in to your computer using ICQ. It is not very secure really, not in comparison to things like Yahoo messenger and the like. However, it is more secure than IRC.

But ICQ is more powerful, and we use it for power, don't we? After all, we can do a search for "girls aged 18-25 who like chipmunks and live in the town just across the lake". You can't do that on AOL or Yahoo or MSN or any of its competitors.

I think that's the kind of thing you were getting at, weren't you?

I really think that we should add an awful lot more about ICQ's development in this page. ICQ is far more important to the internet community than the size of the article suggests. It's got what 2 billion users now. That's 1 account for every 3 people in the world. Is that the most popular thing ever? Zordrac 03:44, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Displaying the IP address of whoever you are talking to is not a security hole. It is a convenient feature which I wish they kept. It was particularly useful for arranging multiplayer games. Two people agrees to play a multilayer game. One sets up a game server, and the other connects to the IP which was readily available in ICQ. The IP address of whoever you are talking to can still be found with a simple command (there is an active TCP connection between you after all). The same goes for virtually any IM system. So not displaying the IP address has absolutely nothing to do with security.Brolin (talk) 16:43, 29 February 2008 (UTC)


Why Jabber is listed as ICQ client? Is there any reason?—Preceding unsigned comment added by X-bel (talkcontribs) 09:56, 10 January 2006

were the icq-transportcapatibilities meant? you can add icq uins like jabbercontacts, if the server supports the icq transport. -- 18:18, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes; actually even if your server doesn't support it, you can use the ICQ transport of any other server (without having an account with them). -- intgr 19:32, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
That's nice. I didn't know that until now :) -- 21:50, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Legal use of the network[edit]

The ICQ user license tells that no other program can be used to access the ICQ network :

<< Restrictions on Use

You agree not to (1) create or use any software other than the Software provided by ICQ or by America Online, Inc., or any affiliate thereof, to enter your ICQ number and password or to access the ICQ Services, without the express written authorization of ICQ; >> (ICQ ® End User License Agreement, October 7, 2003)

I use gaim on GNU/Linux with my ICQ account (which I created in 1999)... am I an illegal user?

--Amine Brikci N 10:51, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

yes (and me to, when I use Jabber ICQ-transport)
--Ceplm 13:27, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Logically such an agreement is only valid if you agree to it.. so if you aren't using icq then you haven't agreed.. I think these kind of legal notices are basically just to satisfy lawyers.. there is no way they could punish/sue you for breaking the contract and breaking contracts is not illegal as such anyway (stealing, making someone lose profit, ignoring copyright - these are illegal in many countries). You'd have to have a clause there saying you have to pay this and this much damages if you break the agreement and no software company does that. What they could do is refuse to allow you access to the ICQ network if you aren't using the ICQ client. Or if you were making commercial profit on sales/advertisments in non-ICQ instant messaging programs they could sue you for damages if you were in their country, or sue you for losing them profit or for using their copyrighted software (ICQ hacks). Personally though I think the logic is flawed anyway, because you need lots of other software to use ICQ "to access the ICQ Services" (network card drivers, operating system, gfx card drivers, sound drivers), you need keyboard drivers to type in your username and password, so this is just legal nonsense.
-- =8)-DX (talk) 08:37, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

the first all-internet instant messaging program[edit]

"The program was first released in November 1996, and was the first all-internet instant messaging program."

What does "all-internet" mean? It probably, should be wikified, that's one. And i'd like to know it too, so that I can object that it was the first. UNIX talk was created waaaaay before that, but I'm unsure whether it is "all-internet" IMP. --Kirils 18:07, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

"talk eventually accommodated digital conversations between users on different machines as well." - Talk (Unix). Among other things that predate ICQ are IRC and Goofey ( Both date back to the early 1990s. So calling ICQ the first Internet IM is just patently false... --ozzmosis 02:00, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
It may not be totally exact to say that it was the first Internet IM, but both talk and IRC were quite limited to very small group of users. Talk was almost unusable with Dynamic IP addresses (you had to find current IP address of the other user) and IRC was mostly limited to technical conversation and there was not easy (or at all?) way how to communicate one-on-one. Ceplm 17:09, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
For that matter, I was sending 'instant messages' to other users who were online (dialed in) to to the same BBS I was long before ICQ was around. Of course, this wasn't on the 'internet', though I do remember when the BBS's and FidoNet connected to the internet that people were able to do some of this near that timeframe. --Kickstart70·Talk 17:55, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
can we settle on "the first widely-used …"?
--Ceplm 13:29, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm unfamiliar with the Unix program, but IRC creates separate servers that users have to log in to. So a person could be on one looking for someone who is on another. Plus there are different chat rooms on each server, people make up whatever name they want each IRC session. ICQ revolutionized this by creating accounts for each individual. They only had one main server so at anytime if a friend was on the internet, you would know it. There was no more searching. ICQ began turning the internet into a group experience. I remember always wondering if my friend was online at the same time as me before we got into ICQ when it launched. ICQ changed all that. So it is definately the first "all-internet" chat program because it didn't divide the users in any way. --Clf23 23:48, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
"All-internet" means it was not specific to a local or closed system. Mindflayer

yeah, but just because it was popular. when you have ICQ, AIM, Yahoo Messenger and Msn, you are divided. Using the same IRC server with registered nicknames is the same thing.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:03, 7 February 2007

ICQ protocol[edit]

There is no information about the ICQ protocol, how it works, its versions, related and newer protocols, its proprietary implementation and noncommercial explitation and associated legal issues. ~~helix84 20:32, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Reference OSCAR. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mindflayer (talkcontribs) 06:11, 11 January 2007 (UTC).
I do not want to be PITA, but there is no such thing as ICQ protocol, because AOL can change it into whatever they want (and they do), i.e., protocol to be considered one must be separate from particular implementation. Go Jabber! :-)
Ceplm 17:02, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

UIN merge[edit]

Is there any valid reason to keep UIN as a separate article? AFAIK, ICQ is the only tool using it. --Kickstart70 16:51, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

For some reason I doubt there have been books written about UINs. I'd say merge. --Quadduc 20:28, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Done. I think it was a ridiculously minor thing for an article on its own. --Kickstart70·Talk 21:31, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

UIN History[edit]

I was hoping against hope that I could find a history of UINs. Would anyone mind posting their UIN and their account creation date or year? UIN+-10 would work, for the purposes of building a history of the growth of the ICQ network. We could have a table that has the approx date of the 100,000, 200,000, 500,000, 1,000,000 marks, etc. Be nifty, and relatively easy to estimate. --Mrzaius 23:49, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I've got a 7 digit one very close to 2500000, but I'm not sure now how old it is. I've looked at my page on, but it doesn't list "User since 19XX" or anything like that. Do you know of a way to find this out? --Kickstart70-T-C 00:10, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I've got a UIN in the ballpark of 460,000. I too don't really know when the heck I created my account. I can say for certain it was not later than 1997; I'm thinking it was sometime probably in 1996 or early '97. SubSeven
My mind can be failing me, but I think I got a 7-digit UIN around 1998-1999. Perhaps you can find some more official sources for UIN history? -- intgr 09:37, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
My uin, around 11366000 was registered Mon Apr 20 17:37:00 1998. Miranda IM shows my exact registration day.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:05, 13 August 2006

Mine is around 125,000,000 and it's from 2001. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:03, 3 July 2006 (EEST).

ICQ briefly randomly assigned across all number schemas, except those of 5 digits. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mindflayer (talkcontribs) 06:11, 11 January 2007 (UTC).

I am going to have to ask my friend what my UIN is, because I haven't used it in YEARS, but I think it's 141 something. It's a 7 digit number I believe. JAMDAWG talk with me·changes

I have got at least 2 UINs through normal ways. One is 731x,xxxx, in around early 2000. One is 136,xxx,xxx, around December 2001.--Fitzwilliam 06:29, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I have a 6 digit UIN, in the 402,xxx range--I specifically remember it being created February/March 1997. My friends created their accounts in early to mid 1996 and range from 198,xxx to 322,xxx according to my old list of UIN contacts. Friend's that signed up for ICQ about a year or more later were in the low 7 digit range (i.e. 1X,000,000). Haven't used my ICQ account in years. Apple2gs (talk) 01:37, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Here is the complete calendar that shows the registration dates of the ICQ accounts since the very beginning: There is no better source than this one so far. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Testbuddy (talkcontribs) 16:43, 17 October 2009 (UTC)


why is not apple's iChat listed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) —Preceding undated comment added 00:09, 26 July 2006.

because it is not ICQ client? :-)
--Ceplm 13:31, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
iChat is an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), ICQ and Jabber client for Mac OS X. - OK? -- 18:34, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

What needs to be changed![edit]

The article is too much of a promotion for ICQ, beginning with the company's logo. (Why not identify as "ICQ logo"?)

The lead is OK, but is followed by "Features" (which reads like an advertisement..just all the pros of ICQ). The "Clients" section is not only a case of "blowing one's own horn", but contains 12 red links (articles probably deleted...this should tell us something).

The "In popular culture" section tells us nothing about ICQ, and, should perhaps be classed as "Trivia". The "Criticism" section appears to make the article "balanced", but the writer provides "work-arounds" for many of the problems, or blames them on "crackers".

The "Trivia" section should simply not be there!

MOST SERIOUSLY, the "External Links" all point to ICQ itself! This is contrary to Wikipedia's policies, and is considered a reason for speedy deletion. Also the "References" section is filled with links to ICQ, ICQ promotions, plug-ins for ICQ, and "spam" sites, overloaded with advertising. (Not many reliable, informative sites listed!)

I would like to hear you comments before finding another (less severe) tag for this article. Thanks, Prof.rick 10:54, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the article is in need of some heavy editing. A lot of information is duplicated, and there is a lot of howto-style information and not many reliable secondary sources. However, all of that can be remedied by editing better than by deletion. Kusma (talk) 13:04, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Kusma. I am not a user or ICQ, and I'm not interested in participating in the revision of this article. However, I will try to find some appropriate (but gentle enough) tags to encourage the process. Prof.rick 01:10, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

"Versions" section[edit]

I removed this section, since information regarding versions is covered in the Hisory section. This section was no more than a lengthy list of numbers, with no descriptions of any version. (To the average reader, a list of numbers alone has little meaning or value.)

If the creator of this section would like to restore it, it would be nice to see it incorporated into the History section, with useful descriptions of each version. Prof.rick 05:18, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Comments on "criticism" edits[edit]

This appears to be the only section of the article with a potential to escape sounding like a promotion for ICQ! Some past edits attempted to downplay the criticisms, with several "how to" statements (supposed solutions to serious problems). PLEASE read "What Wikipedia is NOT"! (It is not a "how-to" manual!) Such editing lacks neutrality. With all the "pros" of ICQ dominating the rest of the article, surely an honest statement of the "cons" is in order! Prof.rick 07:53, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

WARNING! Seems to be that ICQ-Lobbyists are window cleaning this site for their own marketing. Step by step.[edit]

Please compare older versions of this site with the recent - in particular criticism section. For example: the reference to Off-The-Record has been eliminated. Please undo to a more objective version.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:07, 17 November 2007

Is it better to have an article that consists of 50% (unreferenced) criticism? / Fred-J 22:03, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


Some of the major technical advantages ICQ has over the other protocols are missing in the article.

  • ICQ has had support for sending messages to offline users since it was released. MSN and other protocols still don't support this fundamentally important feature.
  • ICQ supports for batch transfer of files (you can for example drag-and-drop a folder with hundreds of jpg images to any user on your contact list). No other protocol I know of supports this.
  • UIN rather than email as a user identification is a very important feature. How many people keep the same email their entire life? Using email as identification means all your friends loose contact with you when you change you email and register a new IM account.
  • On ICQ it is easy to find anyone. Usually you just need to know a few basic facts such as real name, city and/or primary language. I have been able to get in touch with countless old friends using the ICQ white pages. It is the worlds best phonebook. MSN and other protocols require that you know a persons email address.Brolin (talk) 16:58, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

keep current[edit]

keep current!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


I recall that a previous version of the browser Opera, before it had IRC support, was a somewhat-functional ICQ client. Is it worth mentioning this? Cambridge al (talk) 15:46, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Criticism: Man in the middle exploit[edit]

The following paragraph is taken away and re-added. I think that the "man in the middle"-attack is definitely worth mentioning but it should be done propperly.

Man in the middle exploit An early version of the ICQ protocol (around 2001) allowed for a classic man in the middle exploit to intercept communications between 2 parties under optimal conditions. The exploit worked as follows:

    • Alice and Bob are on each other's contact list. Charlie has both Alice and Bob on his contact list (possible without authorisation from either).
    • Alice and Bob are currently logged on. Subsequently Charlie logs on.
    • ICQ server informs Charlie that both Alice and Bob are online. If Alice and Bob allow direct connection for chatting, the server sends Charlie the IP address and port number of Alice's and Bob's ICQ clients as part of the login protocol.
    • Chatting via direct connection is over a TCP connection which can be initiated by either party (suboptimal conditions would be if one party is behind a firewall or proxy server or does not allow direct connections).
    • In the normal situation, if Alice wants to send Bob a message over direct connection, Alice's client would initiate a TCP connection to Bob's client (since Alice's client knows the IP and port of Bob's client). The first packet in the ICQ protocol would include Alice's UIN before Alice's client sends the actual chat message in a subsequent packet. This TCP connection is kept alive by both clients for what appears to be a random interval. The early version of the ICQ protocol did not have any authentication built into the direct connection. This led to being able to spoof messages from anybody.
    • In order to intercept messages between Alice and Bob, Charlie initiates the TCP connection with both pretending to be the other (ie. he sends Alice the first TCP packet pretending to be Bob, and vice versa). Charlie does not send any subsequent chat message to either side. If the TCP connection is dropped by either Alice or Bob before they send a message to each other, Charlie simply reinitiates the connection. When Alice sends Bob a real message, Alice's client will note that it already has an existing TCP connection initiated by what it thinks is Bob, and will send the message over that connection to Charlie, who then records and relays (spoofs) the message to Bob.
    • Subsequent versions of the ICQ protocol had a checksum built in to prevent message spoofing.

This Alice-Bob-Charlie(Eve) talking is getting us nowhere. Such detailed descriptions are not necessary. Let's try doing a descriptive paragraph and a nice lil SVG illustration and everything should be fine.--Yamavu (talk) 19:00, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to support move. JPG-GR (talk) 02:13, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

ICQICQ (client) — This article describes an ICQ client, which isn't the general meaning of the word "ICQ". — LuXpipl (talk) 20:17, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


Like many internet services and protocols, ICQ consists of the two important parts: ICQ system and ICQ client. the ICQ system serves an ICQ client. At the beginning of this article, "ICQ" is defined as a client - so, this article is about a client, but a client isn't the main meaning of "ICQ". So I suggest that it is a redirect to ICQ (client) on this page until the new article (about the ICQ service) is created. LuXpipl (talk) 20:27, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose, this article is not just about the client, and while we only have one article, a disambiguated title violates the naming conventions. Kusma (talk) 05:58, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is nothing preventing this article from being about the entire system. At the moment, it may be only the client being discussed but editors are free to expand the article to be more comprehensive. --Polaron | Talk 02:31, 20 July 2008 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Hijacking by ICQ?[edit]

This is mentioned in the article and has a dubious tag attactched, does anyone have any infor on this? Sephiroth storm (talk) 18:10, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Removed in version 6[edit]

ICQ 6 eliminated the single-pane message window where users could type their message, click Send and have the window go away, very handy for when users wanted to send off a message to another user whether or not the other was online. This was also good for when you didn't want other people shoulder surfing your recent chat history. ICQ 6 only has the dual-pane IRC chat style message window. I'd love to see the single-pane style returned. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bizzybody (talkcontribs) 02:52, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Nothing to criticize[edit]

When I visited the article last, there was a big section about criticism on ICQ. It disappeared! Finally, this article matches my impression of ICQ as a perfectly fine piece of software. Thanks, Jack's Revenge (talk) 07:55, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

For the records: The Criticism section was removed in September 2008 by Seicer, because it was wasn't cleaned up for quite a while and didn't reference its sources. There's enough criticism to ICQ out there, I think. At least when looking at the Vandalism on this page.--Yamavu (talk) 22:44, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, currently present criticism looks like total bullshit. "use of ICQ may cause security problems because it was purchased by Russian investment company Digital Sky Technologies" - with same logical, every piece of commercial software (including Yahoo, MSN, Skype, AOL) also "may cause security problems".

"Carr says the new ownership may be used by Russia's powerful secret service, the FSB (formerly the KGB) since Russian law requires ICQ to open its logs "whenever the spooks want"" - show me one country where there is no such law. In U.S. it is Patriot Act, in UK - its deal of MI5. What makes this piece of software different? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shahinaz (talkcontribs) 06:07, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Send SMS via ICQ[edit]

The article says ICQ 6 makes it possible to send SMS via ICQ for free. But that is only right for some nations and some networks ( Shouldn't this be corrected or made more precise in the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

In popular culture[edit]

This section does not really contribute to the topic. I suggest to remove it. -- mafutrct (talk) 07:38, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

UINs started with 5 digits![edit]

The UIN section says "Issued UINs started at number 100000 (6 digits)". This is not true as they started with 5 digits. For example: shows one of them. I'm fixing this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Number of Mirabilis founders[edit]

The first paragraph of the History section states "Mirabilis was first established in 1996 by five Israelis" but the article later goes on to say "the company was founded by four young Israelis". Which is it, four or five? And does it really need to be mentioned twice? --Kingreka (talk) 15:23, 1 November 2011 (UTC) YES! Something should be done about it.  TVippy  14:56, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

The Decline of ICQ[edit]

A couple of years ago many used ICQ. Nowadays almost no one is on. The article doesn't really reflect this fact. I suggest that somebody update this article!—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:29, 12 November 2006

Untrue - ICQ still has a significant number of desktop and mobile users. While the numbers have declined in favor of AIM, Y!, and MSN Messenger, there are still 8M users a day, and 2M simultaneous active users. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mindflayer (talkcontribs) 06:17, 11 January 2007 (UTC).
What portion of the market share does ICQ have? In Canada I remember the switch from ICQ to MSN taking place in 2002. The fact that ICQ used to have market dominance (at least where I am) in the late 90's and now does not have any - should be reflected in this article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:15, 24 January 2007 (UTC).
of course it should say something. Sure, many people still use it, but it used to be the de facto standard messaging system. 8 million is nothing compared to MSN, especially for a program which has been downloaded 300 million times. It used to have a HUGE amount of people using it. 15:56, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

ICQ is insecure, weak and bad to users. Please have a look:—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:45, 18 July 2007

I guess this comment falls under this discussion: the article claims ICQ is used by over 29 million users worldwide. Is this really the number of accounts that are currently used or just the number of accounts ever registered. I mean an advocate for ICQ stated above that there are about 8M users each day, how much can that vary, up to 10M users logging in these days. JunCTionS 12:35, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I found recently many people are offline due to a change in protocol as of November 2007. The online status is not available for a user which is not officially on the ICQ list. So this may reduce the apparent number of users. I found the following statistics about icq users and usage:
Summary: AOL 62, 80 Yahoo, 185 MSN (in Millions) - and there's more.
The link about "insecure, weak and bad" is broken, I think. Anyone else have a problem with it? (talk) 11:23, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
You can get a gist of how many users are downloading ICQ from That is also coming from the official ICQ website as well.
You can also look at the numbers coming from ICQ, although you don't get a sense of active users. The 400m+ is probably the addition of ICQ6 and older versions. ICQ Numbers.Zer0Nin3r (talk) 09:44, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
According to interview with ICQ General Manager Orey Gilliam published in July 2008 in Czech language here:, ICQ network has 32 million active users, Most users are from Germany (9 million), Russia (11 million), Ukraine, USA, Austria. There is 2 million users in Czech Republic and 1.2 million in Israel. Most users are young people. Xtonda (talk) 15:33, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I know people with UINs in the hundreds of millions. So, ICQ has that number of registered users, but certainly many (probably the vast majority) are former users, including myself. It's also worth mentioning that many people often created new UINs when using a new computer or simply forgetting their old UIN or password, or one for work and friends and another for on-line dating, for example; so, the number of actual people is considerably less than the number of UINs.
I haven't used ICQ for many years now, but it's not because I don't like the program (at least the older versions used to be very small, fast and efficient, without many bells and whistles but with all the features that really matter). I stopped using ICQ simply because I no longer found anyone to talk to - everybody had disbanded. I gave up after spending over a year without seeing any of my contacts on-line - and I had over 100 of them! Now I use mostly MSN/Windows Live Messenger - which I don't like, but all my friends are there and that's where I can talk to them.
Sorry for the near-pun, but ICQ is in the ICU. As pointed out here above, the alleged current user base is not only a very small fraction of the total IM traffic, but also a small fraction of ICQ's own registered user base. So, the decline was no less than a dramatic plunge, and the article should have analyzed the reasons in depth: was it the new competition, bad decisions by AOL, what happened?
I found the article a bit too sympathetic, even though ICQ was indeed a revolution at its time and paved the way to the IM phenomenon, even if it's now exploited by other programs and companies. Paradoxically, the article does not emphasize enough this pioneering effort and ICQ's legacy (if one can say that about a program that, although ailing, is still actively used). ICQ's significant security problems and (once) frequent spamming should also have been addressed. The article is already lacking references, I don't want to make this worse, and I don't have the time and resources to go after more substantial material, but I'd definitely like to see this article considerably rewritten. ICQ is at least historically important and deserved a better treatment on Wikipedia.
--UrsoBR (talk) 16:58, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree, this article really should address the question: [I used to use ICQ back in the 1990's and..] 'Does ICQ Really still exist? Who uses it these days?' -- demographics, country, number of active users - would be great. (talk) 10:56, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Here is a confession of an AOL ex-employee about the decline of ICQ: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Testbuddy (talkcontribs) 16:45, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Current article[edit]

The ICQ article is very messed up. It's entirely focused on the technical description of the current product, used by few, as opposed to the much larger role it played in the 1990's in shapping internet communication. For example, ICQ had total dominance in Australia in the late '90s but by 2001 it had utterly disappeared, similar to AOL chat or grunge clothing. I'd say about 99% of the general public would be suprised to find it still exist. Whilst I was quite pleasantly suprised to find it was still active in 2011, there is nothing in the article to reflect it's rise and fall. Very weird. This software actually had a big impact even in pop culture, several 90's tv shows made references to it.

It's bit like reading an artivle about mullet hair cut, and focusing entirely on a technical description of the haircut as opposed to its place in 80's fashion. Also, yes, I'm aware there is a residul user-base (~ 10 million users), mostly in Russia, but then again, the mullet is still popular in some parts as well. Mshara1 (talk) 06:19, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

I came here to say roughly the same thing. I was shocked to see that ICQ even had a functioning website in 2013, and while I am pleasantly surprised to see that it has new clients for the present generation of platforms, I can't overlook this article's lack of detail surrounding the service's rise to prominence and rapid collapse. There's also absolutely no context for ICQ being acquired at $187.5 million in 2010 — it's almost inconceivable that it would've only lost a little over half its value after losing more than 90% of its userbase, at least not unless there's more to the story than meets the eye. In any event, this article needs some serious work.   — C M B J   11:20, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
The REAL decline started when WhatsApp came to the market. Suddenly lots of people quit ICQ. I never noticed a shift from ICQ to MSN. While I had an MSN account a LONG time ago, I always had the impression that it basically had no real user base. Interestingly, now that WhatsApp has been acquired by Facebook, I see many people quitting WhatsApp and returning to ICQ, though in the long run, most are moving towards other mobile services, like Threema. (talk) 00:59, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

IRC in the summary[edit]

Why is that long winded comparison to IRC in the summary? It's desperately trying to defend the statement that ICQ was the first IM. Can't it at least be in it's own section somewhere down the page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

ICQ SIM is not sold anymore[edit]

Can't really find when it stopped, but probably somewhere in 2010. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:980:1241:FC:CC9F:D235:5188:829 (talk) 06:19, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

In April 2009 United Mobile, their provider, appears to have stopped.

External links modified[edit]

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