Initially, it was known as OICQ or Open ICQ. Now, it is known as the Tencent QQ. It might not ring a bell but the QQ Messenger is the most famous instant messaging software in China. By March 2013, there are close to 800 million active accounts and a peak of 180 million online users.
It’s first edition was launched as QQ 1.0 beta 1 for Linux on January 4, 2009. Meanwhile, its latest version is the QQ 2013 Beta 2 in Simplified Chinese for Windows Vista and Windows 7 which was released on January 22, 2013.
With a high volume of users, the QQ Messenger has become more than a mode of communication. Rather, it is also a platform for games, microblogging, music, and group chat. It also has a virtual monetary system called the Q coin that can be purchased for real money or earned by constant use of the software. The accumulated coins can then be used to purchase profile upgrades and real items. Aside from that, the QQ has diamond level memberships for those who would like to enjoy more features such as gaming, audio streaming and beta testing. All of these can be enjoyed with little to none ads! The messenger also has a remote assistance tool that allows a user to access the desktop of a contact to guide them on how to use the program.
As compared to its counterparts such as Skype, Yahoo Messenger, previously Windows Live Messenger or ICQ, the QQ Messenger presents a better-looking interface. Likewise, it is also available through Web QQ even though the software is not downloaded. However, adding friends to the QQ is a bit tricky and each user is assigned with a number which might prove to be a complicated way to categorize users. Also, interface themes cannot be downloaded from the software or its web version either.
Despite these minor setbacks, the QQ Messenger trumps its competitors when it comes to added value. Its usability is just stunning as compared to other online messaging systems. It’s just interesting to point out that most of its users are in China. With an international version set for release, expect this to be embraced by more subscribers particularly from Western countries.
About Tencent, Inc.
The QQ Messenger is owned by Tencent Holdings Limited which is based in Shenzen, Guandong, China. Founded in 1998, the company earned close to 28 Renminbi in 2011. It is currently listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it is the third largest Internet company in the world behind Google and Yahoo. Aside from the messenger, Tencent has also ventured into gaming portals, web portals, social networks and e-commerce. It is also the creator of the text and voice messaging service WeChat.
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