An AOL Watch special report...
AOL's already hitting their subscribers with ads on their mailboxes, chat rooms, and member profiles --as well as phone calls and junk-mail to their home addresses! Now this?

ICQ users have already started turning their pages black to protest the software's acquisition by AOL. The Washington Post noted that "AOL executives realize that slapping their logo on the ICQ service could alienate many of ICQ's existing users, who see themselves as more technically adept than the typical AOL subscriber."

Geeks are already scrambling to create an alternative Will GNU hackers rescue ICQ? Or will it be the Open Source Instant Messaging Project? Geeks are already discussing ICQ's security flaws.

Here's what AOL Watch readers are saying...

If AOL succeeds in buying out ICQ, everyone I know on it will dump it like a load of bricks.

This means that ICQ will be going down the tubes... fast. Fortunately, there IS an alternative! A little program called "Doorbell" is as close to ICQ as there is... it's worth it to not have to use something owned by AOL.

This ICQ deal should be interesting to watch. We've seen AOL destroy online services, now we get to watch them destroy the worlds greatest online communicator. I wonder how long it will take.

ICQ was built by it's users, it will disappear as a result of those same users.

I used ICQ now and think it's great, but I will have to boycott it as soon as AOL starts f*cking with it.

AOL's reasoning is clear, according to C|Net's interview with an industry analyst. "It's an extra 11 million people to send ads to," an industry analyst told C|Net. Most most important: there was a poll about ICQ at Absolutez polls. Last time AOL Watch visited the page, the results were extremely negative.

If AOL forces you to view their advertisements while using ICQ, will you continue to use it?
No: 19161
Yes: 4257
No opinion: 1454

Should ICQ be sold to AOL?
No: 1621
Yes: 210
No opinion: 650
6639 said they would pay for ICQ if they'd agree not to let themselves be aquired by AOL.

History of the acquisition