instant messaging


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

instant messaging

Exchanging text messages in real time between two or more people logged into a particular instant messaging (IM) service. Instant messaging is more interactive than email because messages are sent immediately, whereas email can be queued up in a mail server for seconds or minutes. However, there are no elaborate page layout options in instant messaging as there are with email. The basic operation is simple: type a brief message and press Enter.

Instant messaging services may also provide video calling, file sharing as well as PC-to-PC or PC-to-phone calling. Some services can switch from "text chat" to "voice chat" for users with a headset or microphone.

Buddy Lists
In order to set up an instant message, you have to add the usernames of the people you want to message with to your "buddy list" (friend list, contact list). When they log in to the Internet with their IM software, and provided they have not configured themselves as "invisible," you are instantly alerted. When they log out, you are also notified. Each system has its own method for blocking incoming and outgoing messages.

The IM Services
Instant messaging (IM) became popular after Israeli-based ICQ introduced its service in 1996, which was later acquired by AOL. Examples of major IM services are Google Talk, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Skype.

Although third-party IM clients such as Trillian and Simple Instant Messenger were designed to interface with multiple IM services, the client programs from the IM service were always proprietary to that service. Google changed that practice by basing Google Talk on the open XMPP protocol used in Jabber (see XMPP). See IRC, chat, chat room, voice over IM, Google Talk, Jabber and IMUnified.


Short and Sweet
This Google Talk snippet is a typical text interaction. The user's picture can be real or selected from a list (see avatar). In this example, Alan used a real photo, while Lynn preferred the smiling monkey.
References in periodicals archive ?
Additional time for focusing on the editing practice may be needed if students are mentioning that this is taking them longer because of the need to eliminate surface level errors, some of which may be caused by the Instant Messaging practice.
For teens, instant messaging extends opportunities to communicate with friends and expands their social world, Kraut suggests.
"Our flagship clients requested a secure instant messaging solution for Linux.
* Written policies: Clearly and explicitly define the acceptable and unacceptable uses of instant messaging within the business environment
The ultimate manifestation of this would see contact centres, collaboration software, email, voice and instant messaging form a unified communication service, potentially pitching vendors as disparate as BT, Microsoft and Accenture against each other, says Rickard.
Exclusively dedicated to mobile operators, content providers and VAR markets, PushMessenger ISP/Carrier Edition allows unique services such as chat, blog, instant messaging or even content broadcasting for mobile phones.
Deployment of real-time collaboration, presence and instant messaging (IM) solutions are on the rise as enterprises strive to communicate more effectively, efficiently, and provide better tools to make good business decisions, as corporations move to the next level of productivity improvements.
Future research should consider measuring the instant messaging experience and usage of the participant to allow comparisons between less or non-experienced IMers and more experienced IMers.
resume instant messaging, e-mail and social networking services in Cuba, Iran and Sudan, reports Bloomberg (March 10, 2010).
Instant messaging (IM) is the second most popular and widely used collaboration and communication tool in business enterprises across Asia Pacific after email, said Springboard Research.