ICQ Is Back, and There Are 11 Things You Should Know About It

Dimitry O. Photo
Jan 18, 2017 · 7 min read

In case anyone’s still out of the loop, ICQ is the progenitor of all modern messengers. The first among the pioneers, it recently turned 20. But despite its considerable age, ICQ is a contemporary multi-platform messenger that unifies all the functions necessary for comfortable communication. Here are the main points you should know about ICQ.

1. Log-In via Phone Number

Registering in ICQ is very fast and simple: you only need to enter your phone number and confirm it via text message. If you already have an ICQ account, you can log in instantly via e-mail or UIN.

Once you connect to your ICQ phone book, it will display your friends who are already using ICQ.

2. Encrypted Video and Voice Calls

Genuine communication is impossible without audio or video. That’s why they’re included in ICQ. Just make one click in the dialogue window to make a call. And if you turn on your camera your call will shift from voice to video. During the call you can change between front and rear cameras, go into speakerphone mode or turn off your device’s microphone. Calls automatically adapt to the quality of your internet connection and work well on Wi-Fi and 3G networks. They are accessible on all the basic platforms: Android, iOS, macOS and Windows.

The new ICQ has end-to-end encryption on all calls, making it the first messenger in the world to provide encrypted video communication for all countries.

Going into detail, voice and video calls are encrypted in the updated versions of ICQ by means of a reliable ZRTP-based algorithm, thanks to a new VoIP engine. This means all your conversations will remain strictly confidential: the encryption works by default on all calls without any additional setup.

3. Group Chats

You can invite all your friends into an ICQ group chat. To organize one, you only need to select a few users or add them into an existing dialogue. You can edit the chat’s name, change its background and send pictures, videos and any other documents to all of the participants at once.

4. Global Search

Remember that cool feature − finding a new friend on the other side of the Earth? You just had to enter a few parameters in an ICQ search. Well, it’s still there, but easier, faster and more convenient. Not every messenger has such a feature. By the way, other users will only see your ICQ number until they enter your number into their phone book. You can input the gender, age and location of the person you’re looking for in the advanced search options. What’s more, ICQ will display people you might know or who have mutual friends with you.

5. Stickers

Everyone likes stickers. Cats, pandas, a whole range of other characters and, of course, popular memes… All ICQ stickers are free of charge, and their quantity is constantly increasing. The large variety of stickers will help you find the one that illustrates your actions or emotions exactly.

6. Live Chats

Remember chatrooms? Those big ones, where you could simply join, talk to everyone and make new friends? Some messaging providers have been trying to test them, but ICQ already has them. In the new ICQ they’re called Live Chats: huge, endless chatrooms on different topics accessible to any user. Live Chats can host over ten thousand participants, and some that big already exist.

Now anyone who wants can create one: just provide a title, picture, description and rules, and assign moderators. If you make your chatroom public, it appears in the Live Chats catalogue, where it can be seen by other users. By the way, the catalogue adjusts individually to each user and depends on their status, interests and the Live Chats their friends are in.

The new ICQ has a separate tab with a list of Live Chats. You can create read-only channels that are accessible to all users: it’s practically like making your own blog in ICQ. Users can only write in such Live Chats with administrator approval. There are also Live Chats with request-based entry, where each participant is approved by a moderator. All Live Chats are accessible in the display window.

So you can see some music chats, chat for selfie and as example my own chat about my photos and some interesting news.

7. Interactive Masks

It’s more fun with masks! And they are available for mobile and desktop. Thanks to the face-detection and processing system, users can try on one of seventeen amazing 2D or 3D masks and take a photo, record a video or call a friend.

The technology integrated into ICQ determines the mask’s position by tracking basic points on your eyes, cheeks, eyebrows, forehead and nose, and adapts to your movements and facial expressions. The new mask function is powered by the cutting-edge LUNA face recognition platform developed by the Russian company VisionLabs, a global leader in computer vision.

8. Neural Networks for photo and video

All the latest trends are already in ICQ. Don’t even doubt it. ICQ has become the first messenger to seamlessly integrate neural networks. You can use them to edit photos in the new version of ICQ for Android. Now you can transform a picture into a painting with just one click! Immediately after taking a photo you can select one of 37 options for real-time processing. Draw directly onto the finished photo or attach stickers to it and send it to Stories or any chat. Photos can be processed in full-screen mode for greater convenience.

But neural networks have not only been integrated into photo editing. ICQ has become the world’s first messenger to allow its users to process their videos using neural networks.

Now each user can turn their video into an awesome clip: choose one of 23 filters and your masterpiece is complete! You can share it on the Stories page or on social networks. To allow this artistic processing, ICQ has integrated Artisto, the world’s first mobile app for editing videos using neural network algorithms.

9. Voice Messages

Have you ever run into the problem of having thoughts that were easier to say out loud than to type? Or of not being able to type text for some reason but urgently needing to reply? Short voice messages will help you. If you receive several such messages, they will be played one after another once you press play on the first one.

Furthermore, ICQ now has a voice message recognition function that supports 40 languages, a function unique among messengers. If you can’t listen to the audio, you can transform it into text with a single touch.

10. Photo and Video Editor

Now you can process your photos and videos without exiting the app. The new version of ICQ has a mobile editor. Pictures and videos can be made more informative, colorful and funny.

You can draw directly onto pictures and videos using this editor. To do this, choose any color from the palette and draw over the image using your finger as a brush. Also, your favorite ICQ stickers can now be ‘stuck’ directly onto the pictures. The editor allows you to quickly change their size, inclination or position in the picture.

Geo-badges can also be applied to photos. ICQ will suggest the most relevant options to the sender based on their location (for example, it will suggest tagging the name of a city, festival or event).

11. ICQ Now Supports IFTTT

ICQ offers integration with the IFTTT platform: users can easily send posts and photos from other social networks and applications to ICQ live chats and channels by syncing the services.

There are currently applets available for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Medium, Tumblr, etc. In addition, users will be able to create their own applets: IFTTT supports about 400 applications and services.

So if you want to try — icq.com — here you can find all newest versions.

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