Instant messaging

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Instant messaging (IM) is a form of communication over the Internet that offers quick transmission of text-based messages from sender to receiver. In push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients, instant messaging basically offers real-time direct written language-based online chat. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet.

Purpose and benefit

Instant messaging allows real time, asynchronous, text-based communication over a network. It normally includes the following functionality:

  • File transfers
  • Photo and/video transfer
  • Sharing/ viewing a desktop
  • Text-based messaging
  • User status
  • Video calling
  • Voice calls

It is useful for quick messages between/among people when it is not necessary to speak or when speaking isn't an option. It also transfers using a data protocol, rather than SMS, which can be useful in some situations.


Instant messaging technology enables real time, direct, text based communication between two or more people using computers or mobile devices. Additional features, other than text-based messaging, includes such things as file transfers (including photographs and videos), voice calls, sharing or viewing a desktop, providing user status and video calling.

Implementation guide

See the [Implementation guide] in the Information technology article.

Success factors

See the [Success factors] in the Information technology article.

Common pitfalls

See the [Common pitfalls] in the Information technology article.

External links and references

  1. Instant messaging on Wikipedia

Related articles

Information technology