IM - instant message
IM is short for instant message, a type of communications service that enables you to create a kind of private chat room with another individual in order to communicate in real time over the Internet, analagous to a telephone conversation but using text-based, not voice-based, communication.
Typically, the instant messaging system alerts you whenever somebody on your private list is online. You can then initiate a chat session with that particular individual.
Typically an Instant Messenger program is installed on your local computer. You create an account then add other people using the same IM program to your contact list (also called a friend or buddy list). The program will alert you when a contact is online and you can initiate a chat session with that person. Most programs allow you to send instant messages back and forth with people in your contact list, create chat rooms for multiple contacts to communicate, share Web or video links, play sounds or connect with your friends using voice chat.
There are a number of options for free online, instant messaging. Some services use a proprietary protocol so contacts must use the same service to IM, while others offer compatibility with other services.
Recommended Reading: Webopedia's text messaging abbreviations.
IT Solutions Builder TOP IT RESOURCES TO MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD
Which topic are you interested in?
What is your company size?
What is your job title?
What is your job function?
Searching our resource database to find your matches...
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »Top Cloud Computing Facts
The following facts and statistics capture the changing landscape of cloud computing and how service providers and customers are keeping up with... Read More »
Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »Java Basics, Part 2
This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »