What was the first instant messenger?

IChat
aMSN
Skype
ICQ
ICQ was the first stand-alone instant messenger (IM) originally developed by the Israeli company Mirabilis in 1996. The name ICQ derives from the English phrase "I Seek You". The technology Mirabilis developed for ICQ was distributed free of charge. The technology's success encouraged AOL to acquire Mirabilis on June 8, 1998 . At its peak around 2001, ICQ had more than 100 million accounts registered.
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Answers by country

IChat
aMSN
Skype
ICQ
answers
flagAustralia
25%
11%
7%
55%
27
flagPoland
16%
15%
15%
51%
3530
flagRepublic of Ireland
45%
9%
0%
45%
11
flagthe United Kingdom
21%
21%
13%
44%
38
flagthe United States
20%
33%
6%
40%
45
flagGermany
28%
16%
16%
40%
25
flagthe Philippines
15%
30%
23%
30%
13
flagPakistan
33%
26%
6%
26%
15
flagNigeria
33%
33%
16%
16%
12
flagIndia
35%
22%
30%
8%
131