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ICQ takes over Brazil

0 9 July 2014

Messenger ICQ, which is owned by Russia's Group, hit the top spot of the Brazilian App Store Chart, after local internet users started downloading the app en masse. This sudden rise to the top of the chart was boosted by the closure of social networking website Orkut and by the news of new functions on ICQ.

The app's Facebook page announced that on July 8 an average number of 100 Brazilian internet users per minute registered on ICQ via mobile phone. As shown by analytics platform App Annie, the explosive rise in popularity started on July 7, when the app not only shot to #1 in the social networking category, but also topped the overall list.

This growth is all the more remarkable, when you take into account that just a day earlier the app was nowhere to be seen among the top 1000 apps for iPhone, while it occupied the 113th place in the social networking category. where it had hovered all year, with only brief visits to the top 50. However, it's worth noticing that the Android version has not experienced such a growth, since on July 8 it still ranked in 163th place of the Brazilian Google Play Store.

One Brazilian user, who downloaded ICQ out of curiosity, told TJournal that the app is spreading like a virus all over the country, as new users invite their own friends to download the app. Tech sites also contributed to the  ICQ's rapid rise: indeed, on July 7th Brazilian media and blogs started referring to ICQ as a potential competitor of Whatsapp.

The new version for iOS doesn't feature any substantial changes, but it gave Brazilian media the opportunity to introduce the public to the whole product and its many features, including video calls and the possibility to send messages even to those who don't use the app.

Messenger ICQ was created in 1996 by Israeli company Mirabilis. Two years later, the service was sold to American corporation AOL, and in 2010 it was acquired by Mail.Ru Group. Despite a steady decline in popularity over the last few years, ICQ's developers continued to launch new versions with new functions.

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