BRB: These were the most popular Instant Messengers over the last 20 years

Now that we are glued to screens even more than we were before you can’t help but think about the power of technology every day, especially when it comes to communicating with our colleagues, friends, and family. Though many of us can’t remember a time before texting our friends literally all day or staying in constant contact with our colleagues via Slack, instant messaging has actually been around for many years.

The rise of instant messaging

Though most of us probably don’t remember hearing about the term instant messaging until the 90s, it has actually been around since 1961 with the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS), which was created at the MIT Computation Center in 1961. It enabled a whopping 30 users to log in at the same time and correspond with each other via messaging. This was followed by ICQ, Yahoo Messenger! and, of course, the one nearest and dearest to anyone who was coming of age in the late 90s, AOL Instant Messenger. Did we ever even laugh before we could LOL?

Many others came along after that but it seemed that when Skype debuted in 2003, it brought communication to a whole new level with its video component. But it didn’t stay on top for long as What’s App eventually became the king. But there is more to the story and so many more chat platforms that you haven’t thought about for years, that you need to remember. Check out this video on the most popular instant messengers between 1997 and 2019. TTYL.