March, 2021
By Dako S.

Predecessors of Modern Messaging Tools

Predecessors of Modern Messaging Tools

A few decades ago, applications like Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, and others didn't exist. If you would like to know what apps or platforms were predecessors of the modern texting apps, keep reading. Do you want to understand how people communicated without FB or WhatsApp and what tools they used for information exchange? Well, you are at the right place.


One of the oldest messengers was called ICQ, a cross-platform messenger created in 1996 by five Israel-based web developers. The name comes from I Seek You, and everybody who used this platform will remember the "uh-oh" sound it made when receiving a new message. If you have never tried, ICQ is still around with updated features. I can't promise that it will be the same as it was in the '20s, but it still has the vibe. 


If you recognize this platform, you probably had an awesome childhood. mIRC is a full-featured communicating chat. It was produced by Khaled Mardam-Bey in 1995 and is still running. It is used for sharing, playing, or working with others on IRC networks, where IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. This platform can be used for private communications as well as group conferences. There have been different opinions about the 'm' in mIRC; some people think it stands for 'my', and others say that it means 'moo', or 'MU'.


Another great platform that was designed for messaging is AOL. The abbreviation AOL means American Online inc. In 1997 AIM (AOL Instant messenger) was created by AOL and gave people a chance to share files, videos, and audios. Sadly, this platform was discontinued in 2017. 


The millennials will probably remember Yahoo! very well. It was created a year later after AOL in 1998 and was the most popular IM service. This soft also had Yahoo Chat in which you could manage online chatrooms. Fun fact, Yahoo actually stands for 'Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle'.

Have you ever used MSN, iChat, GTalk?

Microsoft introduced MSN (Microsoft Network) in 1999. In a decade, it had over 300 million users. Following this, In the 2000s, Apple used an instant messaging tool called iChat that worked primarily for Mac users and was integrated with users' mail and address books. Later, in 2005 MSN was rebranded as WLM – Windows Live Messenger; however, it was shut down in 2014. In the same year of 2005, along with the rebranding process, Google Talk was created and was named "GTalk" or "GChat." With this platform, people could chat by text or voice.

Why do you use Skype?

Is Skype the only platform you recognize from what was mentioned above? You should probably think that this software is modern and new, but it was actually launched in 2003. The name skype comes from "Sky peer-to-peer." Skype also crafted a mobile messaging app called Qik, which looks a bit like Snapchat.

To conclude, there was much messaging software, and probably in 2000, it was way too exciting to text by the internet than it is today. Indeed, modern technologies are multifunctional, as texting and video calling feels like everyday life. Joylessly, we don't experience the same kind of excitement associated with having access to the internet anymore. Don't you think so?


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