If we look back at history , we find that long before Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, there was ICQ.
For anyone who doesn’t know, ICQ was created in 1996 and is now wholly owned by AOL. ICQ was THE pioneer of social media and real time updates. It introduced us to instant messaging and a revolutionary new way to communicate with people instantly in real time. ICQ could have been Facebook or Twitter a long time ago.
It’s taken ICQ quite a long time to get back to its status as a social pioneer but now with it’s new client, ICQ is getting back to what it was about all the way from the beginning – a place to interact with your friends everywhere. Everybody Everywhere is after all ICQ’s slogan and being an ICQ veteran myself, I am very excited to announce the launch of the new ICQ 7.
ICQ 7 is a client that brings together all your social interactions from across the Web. Instead of having to open a few different pages and applications to get my friends’ status updates on Facebook, to read tweets of my favorite people and to follow what’s happening on other sites as well such as Youtube, Flickr, Digg and Delicious. ICQ 7 allows me to use one personal communication tool to integrate all my online social activities. I am able to syndicate my updates to all of my social networks with a single click and get status updates & tweets from all my friends in my networks in one single platform.
ICQ 7 enables real-time updates from content sharing sites and top social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Digg and Delicious and will soon announce the integration of local social networks.
Found side by side with the ICQ Contact List, users can find a separate tab of real time feeds and updates from their friends from their various social networks. Users will no longer need to open up a new browser and log in to separate networks that they’re members of each time they want to comment on their friend’s updates. From now on, consider ICQ to be your social networks’ one-stop-shop. No longer will I need to search for content on different platforms – the content finds me. ICQ 7’s interface is also improved with software that is fully compatible with all versions of Microsoft Windows, including Windows 7.
My Status: Status updates I make on ICQ can be automatically posted in my other supported networks as well. I can also easily share pictures and links.
Feeds from Friends: Updates made by user’s friends on leading social networks and content sharing sites appear in real time in the “Feeds from Friends” tab on the contact list. The user can comment on these updates directly from his/her ICQ and the comment will appear also in the relevant social network/site. ICQ users can see updates from all their friends in the various social networks – not just from friends that have ICQ.
My Box: The “My Box” tab on the ICQ Contact List is the place where ICQ users get all notifications of their personal online activity – who commented on my status and in which site, who liked the photos I uploaded, etc.
New User Profile: ICQ 7 presents a more enhanced user profile – both within the client and on the Website. The user profile is the place where users can display who they are by sharing pictures and personal updates on their page. The new user profile is now offered in color schemes that are fully customizable to suit the user’s mood. Additionally, the new user profile allows ICQ users to view their friends’ contact lists and add new people to their own contact list, thereby increasing their circle of friends.
Picture-Sharing Tool: A new, quick and fun application for sharing pictures with friends:
Faster, Lighter: ICQ 7 performance has been vastly improved with installation time reduced by nearly 50% and requested space for installation reduced approximately by 30%.
ICQ 7 offers a Social Messaging client that enables quick and easy communication friends from across networks, ability to view real-time updates from: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Digg and Delicious. ICQ’s Managing Director, Eliav Moshe, says:
“ICQ 7 brings Social Messaging into play, integrating users’ online social world with their personal communication tool. The new version answers users’ needs for a quick and easy communication tool that also helps you be up to date with everything that’s going on in multiple social networks and content sharing sites. With a loyal community of over 42 million users worldwide, we are working on the upcoming integration of local social networks into ICQ 7 as well.”
It is only fitting that the company that was the pioneer of the Web 2.0 era has now integrated this Web 2.0 world into one manageable space in the best possible manner. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. In my opinion it offers the best solution we have today for one platform which integrates all my social interactions into one convenient platform.
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(Disclosure: Blonde 2.0 is ICQ’s social media firm)
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.