RealTime IT News

ICQ Registration Hits 40 Million

America Online Inc. Monday announced the number of users of its online community ICQ has tripled since it acquired the company last year to more than 40 million.

In June 1998, AOL acquired ICQ messaging software creator Mirabilis which at the time reported 12 million registered users. More than 20 million users registered in the following four months. Seven million people use ICQ daily, with nearly 85 percent of users under the age of 35.

"ICQ's growth and irreverent spirit are a testament to the strength of AOL's multiple-brand strategy," said Bob Pittman, president and chief operating officer of AOL. The company also commented that there is very little overlap between the AOL audience and that of ICQ.

"When we decided to purchase ICQ, we knew we had a hit on our hands, but by any measure, the ICQ brand has exceeded expectations," said Ted Leonsis, president of AOL Interactive Properties Group.

ICQ will soon launch the ICQ Mail service, a free Web-based e-mail service created in partnership with Critical Path Inc. Another deal is in the works with Net2Phone to add Internet telephony services.

The ICQ service features instant messaging and chat, ICQ iT! search and ICQ White Pages.