ICQ was one of the most popular chat services in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The program was launched only for Windows in 1996 by Miraballis, reaching 100 million users in 2001 – number expressive for a time when the internet was still incipient.
Currently, WhatsApp occupies the most used messenger place in Brazil, with 120 million participants just here. However, many functions of the app were already known to those who used ICQ on the PC. Others, like the sound of “toc toc toc”, when a contact was online, or the famous “oh oh”, which warned about the arrival of a new message, still arouse longing in more nostalgic users.
Whatsapp or ICQ? Who wins the battle? – Photo: Arte / dnetc
How to hide WhatsApp photos in Android gallery
Next, remember the features that already existed in ICQ and are still used by WhatsApp today.
Way to find contacts
WhatsApp allows you to add contacts using your cell phone number, but ICQ also used numbering to identify accounts. Each person registered with the service earned a UIN (remember that name?), Which stands for Universal ICQ Number, an incredible idea for a time when not everyone had an email account. To add someone to your contact list, simply ask or inform your UIN.
ICQ allowed adding new users through UIN – Photo: Reproduction / Apache
Initially, the model facilitated the way of meeting people. However, as the application gained new users, the greater the combination of digits became, and thus, more difficult to remember. The ICQ universal number stopped being generated in 2010, but those who still remember yours have the option of using it in the current version of the application.
In WhatsApp, the user can enter a 130-character phrase displayed below the name to inform what is being done or send a message – the message. This feature, however, is not new. It already existed in ICQ in a more elaborate way and had the name «Status». In addition to informing your availability (that is, if you were online, absent or busy), it was also possible to include a phrase, which most of the time ended up being a song.
ICQ status possibilities – Photo: Disclosure / ICQ
In the early 2000s, the software gained a Winamp player plugin and it was possible to display to the contacts, instead of phrases, the songs that were being heard on the PC at that time. And not a few have used the resource to send indirect messages to the crush or rival of the time.
Currently, many people are looking for a way to stay invisible on WhatsApp. Although it does not exist natively in the messenger, the function can be obtained through third party apps.
How to stay invisible on WhatsApp Web and hide online status
The ICQ, in turn, had its own resource to avoid being noticed. Users could even choose to always be visible only to people they would really like or need to chat with.
Group conversations at ICQ – Photo: Reproduction / Geocities
In its golden age, ICQ had group chats with a look reminiscent of IRC chat, in which it was possible to see what other users typed in real time. In addition, participants could send predefined actions and send sounds, as well as choose the background color, the type of font that would be used in the conversation, among other various options.
WhatsApp groups have a very different interface, and it is not possible to know what a friend is typing until the message is sent. Recently, group conversations gained a series of novelties to improve the control of administrators, in addition to allowing the creation of descriptions.
Use of emojis and the preview of GIFs
Image pop up on ICQ – Photo: Playback / Messenger.es
In the late 2000s, ICQ sought to expand the ways for users to express themselves. For this reason, it provided emojis (which, at the time, were called smileys) to be used in messages. Years later, the service launched what could be called the “father of GIFs”. When clicking on one of the options, a huge animation occupied the screen of the user and the person with whom he talked, which yielded good scares.
Today, WhatsApp allows you to share GIFs and stickers (via Gboard) to personalize your conversations.
How to send GIFs on WhatsApp
Sharing files and contacts
One of the most interesting functions of WhatsApp is the ability to easily share videos, photos, documents, links, among other options. But the nostalgic on duty probably remember that the old ICQ also allowed items to be sent to friends. Among them, files, voice messages, greeting cards, web pages and even contacts.
Shares made in ICQ – Photo: Reproduction / Tripod
The precarious internet of the time made the transfer of a simple text from Word take a long time, but the truth is that nobody cared much for it (unless the connection fell in the middle). In addition, with the program, the user was able to send the same content to several users at once, a feature also adopted by WhatsApp.
How to send a large video via WhatsApp
Since the time of the appearance of ICQ, it is possible to avoid unwanted contacts. Did you have a fight with a friend or see that the flirting wasn’t going to go anywhere? It was enough to send the person to the “Ignored List”. It would be the same as blocking someone on WhatsApp. But the Windows program also had other escape options such as being invisible to everyone or selecting specific individuals who could not see the real status.
It is worth remembering that ICQ still exists and has a series of resources to face the main messengers in the market. Currently, it is available in web versions and for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and iPhone (iOS).
Tips to know if you have been blocked on WhatsApp