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Instant messaging

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Instant messaging ( IM ) is a form of real-time direct text-based communication between two or more people using [personal computer] s or other devices, along with shared [software client] s. The user's [text] is conveyed over a [network] , such as the [Internet] . More advanced instant messaging software clients also allow enhanced modes of communication, such as live voice or [video calling] .


IM falls under the umbrella term [online ''chat''] , as it is a real-time text-based networked communication system, but is distinct in that it is based on clients that facilitate connections between specified known users (often using " [Buddy List] ", "Friend List" or "Contact List"), whereas online 'chat' also includes web-based applications that allow communication between (often anonymous) users in a multi-user environment.


Instant messaging (IM) is a collection of technologies used for real-time text-based communication between two or more participants over the Internet, or other types of [network] s. Of importance is that [online chat] and instant messaging differs from other technologies such as [e-mail] due to the perceived synchronicity of the communications by the users –chat happens in real-time. Some systems permit messages to be sent to people not currently 'logged on' ( offline messages ), thus removing some of the differences between IM and e-mail (often done by sending the message to the associated e-mail account).

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