|ICQ – for the younger people a abbreviation of “I seek you” – created in 1996 was an easy to use instant messenger program where you could add friends to your list, and see if they were online. Doens't sound new at all, but back then it was revolutionary for the masses and it became the ‘application’ everybody had installed.
ICQ was acquired by AOL in June 1998 for a whopping $287 million plus contingent payments of up to $120 million over three years based on growth performance levels.
What went wrong? Eventually the program got too many additional features that made the application heavy and unorganized. While competition of AOL IM, Yahoo IM, and MSN Messenger increased, and friends on your ICQ-list left the application. Eventually resulting in a mass abandoning of the network.
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