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Anyone who was on the internet since the mid-1990s will remember the ICQ: after all, he was the most popular messenger at the time. And now, you can win a new opportunity.

Since the WhatsApp decided to change the rules regarding data privacy, many users of the platform started to migrate to competing apps, such as Signal and Telegram. Until some Hong Kong users chose another alternative: go back to ICQ.

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The service is now a smartphone app and saw a 3.500% increase in its downloads in the second week of January. According to the ICQ, Hong Kong's movement in this period surpassed that of the entire fourth quarter of 2020.

Sensor Tower, which tracks application market statistics, points out that, in the week before the service was rediscovered, there were only 200 downloads, and in the week of increase, there were 7 thousand. In addition, Google Trends shows that searches for “ICQ” on Google have risen to a level not seen in a decade.

ICQ today

Who created ICQ was Mirabilis, from Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1996. Two years later, America Online incorporated the company. By the year 2000, there were about 100 million users on the platform. Currently, the service's controller does not report the number of users, but says the platform is more popular in countries like Russia, Nigeria and Germany.

Today, ICQ is owned by Mail.Ru Group, which also owns VK, VKontakte, Russia's most popular social network. The Russian company acquired the system in 2010 and, among its resources, there is a collective video chat, audio messages and others.

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In the app, the original notification sound was maintained. Among the excluded features is “random chats”, in which unknown users were placed in contact. The messages are encrypted and the platform says that user communications "are not shared with any other party", except by court order.

Street: Sheet

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