ICQ chatted up by Russian billionaires
AOL offloads IM service
Russian investors have bought ICQ, the venerable instant messenger service, from AOL for $187.5m.
The deal was announced today by Digital Sky Technologies, an investment group backed by Yuri Milner, a media baron, and Alisher Usmanov, the controversial Uzbek commodities plutocrat who owns a large stake in Arsenal FC.
After dotcom-era success, the popularity of ICQ has waned in the West. In Israel, where it was developed, and former Soviet countries, it remains a leading instant messenging service however.
AOL bought ICQ back in 1998, from its developer Mirabilis, for $407m. It now registers 32 million users per month. In 2001 it announced it had 100 million registered users.
AOL, currently amputating non-profitable arms as it aims to refocus as a digital publisher said today: "Digital Sky Technologies is a leading innovator in the Internet investment space and has a significant presence in the markets where ICQ is strong."
The Russian group is dominant in its home market, claiming responsibility for 70 per cent of all web page views. In the West its most significant investment to date has been its $200m purchase of 2 per cent of Facebook. ®
Theres a blast from the past.
Haven't used it in about 10 years.
Holy shit, i still remember my ICQ number, god knows how.
It's just ICQ numbers, because experience over the years of running the forum has shown that real users don't tend to enter an ICQ number when they register, whereas spammers often do.
And now, we have a note on the registration form that says "NB If you enter a website or ICQ no during registration, your account may be deleted as a suspected spammer"
The scripts that spammers use to automate forum signups, or the stupid people who do it for them, always miss that bit. Since the forum's for a product that's only usable in some countries, we also patched phpBB to require admin approval for people whose IP addresses don't appear to be in EU countries, OZ or NZ.
That got me a lovely ranting email from someone sulking because he had to be approved, telling me it was like "killing all babies, in case some of them turn out to be criminals."
MuI7 ..... Seventh Heaven, Global Communications HQ for UKGBNIRobotIQs
I wonder if Fort Meade and Cyber Security Operations Centres (CSOC), dismiss ICQ so lightly too ....... or do they look at and listen very intently to the chit chatter, driving themselves into a crazy frenzy at times with their own subjective remote covert third party analysis of shared first party thoughts.
And do you imagine that such Machine Spookery as is employed in such phishing is also extended to hoover up all juicy titbits from blogs and articles registering comments, so that an advanced intelligent opinion can be phormed and globally shared ......... which ideally would be an improvement to Present Thinking and Tinkering delivering with AI, IT and Media, a Better Beta Virtual Reality as the Future, and a Rock Solid MetaDataBase Methodology upon which FutureBuilders can Consolidate Intelligence Gains and Extend the Progressive Dream Meme.
Which would be a Private Pirate Sector Build to be Supported by Hugely Indebted Publicly Funded Government Instruments, which are Intellectually Bankrupt and Going Nowhere Novel or Pleasant.
And it is only Logical and an Inescapable Fact that One cannot Expect Anyone with Impaired Sight to have any Great Vision and thus to think One has the Ability to Lead with a Fabulous See is a Delusional's Journey going to Nowhere Special.