ICQ is the pioneer of current Internet instant messenger clients. Launched in 1996 - three years earlier than Windows Messenger - it lost popularity against Microsoft’s product, partly because Windows Messenger was included as part of Windows XP, partly because everyone with a Hotmail account was already registered as a Windows Messenger user.
ICQ (a fake acronym for "I Seek You"), now owned by America On Line, revamped its program in order to compete with the other services. You can chat with your contacts and change the font, color and size of the text in the process, or add emoticons and Tzers to your messages (the equivalent of a Wink in WLM). You may also make phone calls using your microphone and your set of speakers, and if you have a webcam installed, you can make it a video call instead, inviting anyone in your contact list. The program also allows you to send free SMS to phones in the Czech Republic, Israel, USA, Russia, Germany or Ukraine.
ICQ also adds a toolbar in your browser, which you can use to search for a term in Google or to access some of your most-often-used sites. It will also add a new starting page in your browser, which you can always choose not to use.
ICQ offers integration with social networks like Facebook, YouTube or Tweeter - you can share your updates with your friends using the ICQ client.
- It is a great instant messenger client.
- Most of the new users seem to be from non-English speaking countries.