10 Old Instant Messaging Services That Used To Be Popular

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April 5th, 2019   |   Updated on June 6th, 2020

Initially when technology started entering our life one of the first few things that were introduced were instant messaging services. Having them on our smartphone made it easy to communicate with people in case you were unable to give them a call.

Their usability made these instant messaging apps extremely popular among smartphone users. However, time progressed and technology became more advanced. These instant messaging apps were quickly forgotten and people moved on to other interesting alternatives.

But, we have brought together a list of 10 Old Instant Messaging Services That Used To Be Popular at one point of time. Go through this list and see if any of these apps were your preferred choice or not.

Also, let us know if you feel we missed any of the most popular instant messaging services and which should have made to the list.


1. ICQ

A simple way to communicate and nothing extra. New design, free sound and video calls, group chats and much more!

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Review: sitejabber

The true value of early ICQs 98a/b was that you locate people and make friends by; Gender, Age, Country, City or towns. All that seems to have vanished now with the later versions (and owners) of ICQ. I guess the older 98 versions were too good to last.

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2. Yahoo! Pager

Yahoo Messenger will no longer be supported after July 17, 2018. Until then, you can continue to use the service normally. After July 17, you’ll no longer be able to access your chats and the service will no longer work. Read our FAQs below for more info on what this means for you.

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Review: ZDNet

Messenger’s main display is as stark as it’s always been. But we did notice a few distinctive new touches in 5.0, especially the tiny icons that sit beside each buddy’s name to show his or her status, such as ‘I’m available’ or ‘Out to lunch’. Otherwise, prepare yourself for more of the same old stuff.

For example, Messenger still lets you organize your pals into groups in order to send several members the same message. You can also set Messenger to display only those buddies who are currently online (to trim the list if you have a lot of IM contacts) and to locate friends to add to your buddy list with a simple search tool.

In general, we found Yahoo much easier to operate than ICQ (with its lengthy, detailed menus), but some tasks are still a real pain. For instance, it took us a long time to dig through the help file to figure out how to delete a group.

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3. AOL Instant Messenger

AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) was an instant messaging and presence computer program created by AOL, which used the proprietary OSCAR instant messaging protocol and the TOC protocol to allow registered users to communicate in real time.

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AIM® is the next generation of instant messaging software. We listened to your requests and added lots of new features. Plus, we streamlined the software to make sure it’s fast enough to keep up with you. Install AIM and never look back.

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4. MSN / Windows Live Messenger

 Windows Live Messenger previously known as MSN Messenger, was renamed as part of Microsoft’s move away from Hotmail, towards the Live online community. Now the most popular IM app in the world has finally reached version 2009.

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Review: cnet

Previously known as MSN Messenger, Windows Live Messenger is Microsoft’s answer to instant messaging. While largely the same as its predecessor, Windows Live Messenger is unique for allowing you to share folders and files locally with fellow users.

It also serves up the usually animated emoticons, winks, and buzzes, along with multiplayer gaming, free PC-to-PC calling, mobile phone messaging, and video chatting. Plus it adds VoIP capabilities that let you call telephones around the world for a fee.

It’s one major omission, though, is it lacks the capability to receive inbound calls from landlines or cell phones, a service that competitor Yahoo Messenger with Voice offers.

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5. Google Talk

Google Talk is an instant messaging and VoIP service developed by Google. This client lets you to log in to the service to chat and hold video-conferences with your friends from the Windows desktop.

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Review: G2Crowd

What do you like best?

How easy it is to use and how I can add multiple team members’ phones to the account. When we do add multiple phones, all of them ring and whoever can pick up will pick up, it is convenient to talk about certain research participants.

What do you dislike?

Everyone uses the same password to login and it doesn’t seem super secure. Also, the log of calls we make isn’t very clear and organized and hard to look at in general.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It is better than most other programs but does take a while to get used to in terms of the interface.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are able to make all the calls we need in order to reach out to participants and new recruits in a timely matter with everyone using it at once. Before that, only one person could make calls at a time and only one person could answer when people called back.

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6. Skype

Skype is a telecommunications application that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, the Xbox One console, and smartwatches via the Internet. Skype also provides instant messaging services. Users may transmit text, video, audio and images.

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Review: financesonline

Skype is a web-based communications tool that offers video chat, international calls, and texting via the web.

Dubbed by users and experts as one of the best VoIP solutions providers in the world, Skype offers instant messaging, group video conferencing, video chat, group chat, collaboration functionalities such as document and image sharing.

Contacting actual landlines and mobile phones is also offered for super low rates with no peak times. Currently, Skype is owned by Microsoft and brings on board all functionality and responsiveness expected from this reputed provider.

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7. Jabber

Jabber is the original open instant messaging (IM) technology, invented by Jeremie Miller in 1998 and formalized as the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) by the IETF as an Internet Standard for messaging and presence.

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Review: TrustRadius

We used Jabber as our enterprise collaboration solution. During my time at a prominent healthcare organization, we leveraged Jabber to reduce response times, allowing problems, incidents, difficulties, and project updated to be communicated quickly.

It saved time and cut down on excessive emails since we could ping each other quickly. The video chat features allowed for a more collaborative meeting experience when working remotely and the screen share features allowed us in IT to work with users for simple issues.

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8. MySpaceIM

MySpaceIM is specially designed for messaging amongst your MySpace friends and networks.

As well as MySpace, you can use Skype, although you have to import contacts from Skype, and you ‘call’ using your MySpace name. The app itself is quite attractive and has a range of skins for you to choose. Like Live Messenger, there are emoticons and actions to use in conversation.

Not that these are louder in style than you’ll see on Messenger. Accessing your Myspace inbox or homepage is a click away, although they open in your browser. You can also access music your friends are listening to, and a MySpaceIM ChatRoom.

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MySpaceIM is the official instant messenger for the MySpace social network, sporting all the capabilities that a chat application should comprise. The experience is made pleasant by its user-friendly appearance and of course, its undeniable ease of use.

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9. Gaim(pidgin)

Pidgin is an easy to use and free chat client used by millions. Connect to AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, IRC, XMPP, and more chat networks all at once.

Pidgin 2.12.0 removed protocols that were not being maintained: MSN, MySpace, Mxit, and Yahoo!. These will show up as unknown in your account lists until you delete them.

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Review: cnet

Pidgin lets you link your accounts from multiple chat apps, so you can communicate with all of your friends from one central location. Rather than having to stay logged in to multiple apps at once, you can keep in touch effectively while keeping confusion and distraction to a minimum.

Supported apps include Facebook Chat, AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, GroupWise, ICQ, IRC, MSN, MXit, MySpaceIM, SILC, SIMPLE, Sametime, XMPP, Yahoo, and Yahoo Japan.

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10. iChat

Apple first offered iChat in 2002, as part of Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar. Though I’ve tried iChat repeatedly with various releases of newer versions of the Mac OS, I always end up abandoning the software for the free, open-source Adium instead. iChat has long had one major leg up on Adium—its built-in support for audio and video chatting—but other Adium features offered enough improvement over iChat that I considered Apple’s instant messaging (IM) tool an also-ran.

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Review: lifewire

Messages, as well as the earlier iChat messaging client that Messages replaced, has a unique feature that allows you to share your Mac desktop with a Messages or iChat friend. Screen sharing lets you show off your desktop or ask your friend for help with a problem you may be having. If you allow it, you can also let your friend take control of your Mac, which can be very helpful if your friend is showing you how to use an app, a feature of OS X, or simply helping you troubleshoot a problem.

This co-operative screen sharing is a great way to troubleshoot issues with a friend. It also provides a unique way for you to teach others how to use a Mac application. When you’re sharing someone’s screen, it’s just like you’re sitting down at his or her computer. You can take control and work with files, folders, and applications, anything that is available on the shared Mac’s system. You can also allow someone to share your screen.

Read Full Review Here