Skype vs ICQ?

By | April 18, 2005

Skype is big — today it said its software has been downloaded by 100 million users, and 2.7 million people are online as I type this —- and it’s widely seen as a challenge to the old telephone companies. But could it also topple ICQ and other instant messaging programs? After all, the folk at Skype seem to spend as much time adding features to the text chat part of the software as they do adding features to the VoIP bit.

No real way of telling, I guess, except this graph offers an interesting peek: Using Alexa’s Traffic History Graph service to show how traffic to and compare over the past year:


Clearly Skype has made big strides and continues to narrow the gap. This despite the fact that ICQ’s website is not just a download site but a community portal.

Using Intelliseek’s BlogPulse tool — measuring references in blogs to the terms ‘ICQ’ and ‘Skype’ reveal a somewhat similar pattern over the six months:


4 thoughts on “Skype vs ICQ?

  1. jangelo

    skype is cool. but it’s too much of a resource-hog. =( and you’re limited to talking to other skype users only (unless you sign up for skypeout and skypein). i opted for FWD for my VOIP needs.


  2. Martin

    I like skype more than ICQ, since it provides end-to-end encryption for voice and text by default. So also less tech-savvy users that don’t know how to establish a secure ICQ connection can communicate savely. As for Skype out, I had some less convincing experiences when calling from Germany to the USA and Canada when the connection quality dropped to a level where the other side was not able to understand me at all.
    Skype contributes to the idea of the global village. Just set your status to “Skype me” and talk to people all over the world.

  3. S-T-S

    I used IQC something like year back and after I heard about Skype and tried it, there have been no turning back. After having been using ICQ and trying Messenger & Trillian and bunch of others I first tried Skype about year ago (something like v. It offered superior VoIP quality (even for modem users as bandwih usage is around 5KB/s in 1on1) than anything i had used before that. And as a bonus it offered it right out of the package (including conference VoIP chats). Any other VoIP programs either refused to work at all or required extensive tweaking (as i am behind an ISP Proxy). My friend is using also the Skype out feature and it has been working very good for him at least. Prices are low and voice have been quite good overall.

    Skype team has really been busy adding and tweaking features for their product and must say that I have been pleased. Granted that Skype is quite a resource hog on memory (with around 20 000 KB it is third most memory using program I have on now) but other than that it is not using CPU time in idle at all. All other things like encrypted connections and overall quality makes it worthwhile.

    Also free 3rd party programs like Festoon and Video4IM offer webcam support and desktop view sharing for Skype.

  4. Christo

    i think that the messanger site of skype sucks !!! the off line msg support is …. there isn’t such thing! The only good thing that im using in skype is voip nothing else. Otherwise i still use icq.


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