WhatsApp controversy caused users to switch to ICQ | Application and software

THE Whatsapp In recent weeks, the messenger has been in dire straits: after presenting his privacy policy, the messenger has faced some criticism for sharing user data with Facebook. In the midst of the crisis, many people turned to Telegram and Signal as an alternative to keep chats up to date. Some of the more nostalgic Chinese, however, went further: by ICQ.


ICQ interface on web and on smartphone (Image: Disclosure / ICQ)

According to a report of Wall Street Journal, an ICQ spokesperson said the former messenger peaked in downloads in early January. An increase in interest has occurred in Hong Kong and can be seen on Google Trends: this is the largest search for this phrase since 2011.

Of course, the total is not as impressive as WhatsApp’s recent competitors. During the week of a privacy controversy, downloads increased from 200 to 7,000.

Highest interest in the term “ICQ” in Google Trends – Hong Kong (Image: Reproduction / Google Trends

During the heyday of ICQ, it was “all dust”

If you are one millennial root, you used ICQ on your PC (and with dial-up internet!) – I think I still miss my UIN. Without a doubt, the percussion sound is among the most striking, as does “uh-oh!” new message received.

Instant messaging was one of the first apps to go global and it connects us well ahead of both smartphones and social networks, reaching 100 million users in 2001 under command. by AOL.

At that time somewhat obscure, things are much simpler on the internet – and we don’t even dream of discussing privacy policy the way we do it today. Perhaps that’s the biggest motivator for Hong Kong users to think about getting back into service: running away from the madness that changed the world. digital in 2021.

Yes, there are still users …

An ICQ spokesperson did not disclose how many total users the platform has, but she told WSJ that this service is most popular in Russia, Nigeria and Germany. What little is known is that ICQ never died, in fact, it has a mobile app and is controlled by Mail.Ru, the owner of VK – Russia’s most popular social network.

The company keeps the sound of the announcements, but no longer features random chat (which connects users randomly anywhere in the world). The “hidden” mode has also been removed (unfortunately).

With information: The Wall Street Journal

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