Instant messaging is a software application that provides a service that allows individuals to communicate with others who are also using the service in a private chat window and talk to each other through the exchange of text based messages in real time.
Each instant messaging application will allow you to keep a list of friends and see when they are available to chat. When you see a friend online you will be able to establish a connection with them and chat. If you try to send a message to someone not on your list they may respond if they have allowed for messages to be accepted from those not on their contact list. If someone isn't online at that time then you will receive a notice that your message couldn't be delivered.
You can often have simultaneous chats with two or more people in separate message windows and even have conference chats where people can be added to your private chat window so you can all talk together.Origins
The ability to send an instant message was actually possible before the Internet. In the mid 1960s there were systems like Compatible Time-Sharing Systems (CTSS) and Multiplexed Information and Computing Service (Multics) which were used as notification services. Networks developed and soon peer-to-peer protocol was established allowing people to connect to a particular server. In the 1980s there was the introduction of the Unix “talk” command, which continued to be popular into the 1990s. As technology developed and became more sophisticated many more instant messengers were created and became how we know them today.Specifics
To have the ability to use instant messaging you will need to:
Revised January 18th, 2016
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- Choose an instant messenger application to use
- Download the necessary program and install it on your computer
- Create an account with a username and password
- Add your friends or make new ones
- Wait for your friends to come online, then chat away