According to The Wall Street Journal, the good old ICQ has had a boost in downloads and re-registrations since the WhatsApp scandal broke out. The situation has a specific focus: Hong Kong, where a large portion of the population decided to adopt the app instead of Telegram or Signal.
According to data from the report, adoption in Hong Kong and other countries has increased the number of simultaneous active users by 15 times compared to the current base, placing ICQ even high in the rankings of downloads of digital app stores. Even Google Trends recorded a spike in searches for the nostalgic program, with numbers that have not been reached since 2011. All of this should not be enough to return the messenger to a competitive position in this sector, but it should satisfy the nostalgia of many users.
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Launched in 1996, ICQ dominated internet communication until the popularization of MSN (later Windows Live Messenger). The service is still live, now owned by the Russian company Mail.Ru Group.
ICQ was already the subject of the History of Technology board on TecMundo’s YouTube channel. Check it out!