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Encyclopedia > Instant messaging

Contents

Instant messaging (IM) is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. The text is conveyed via computers connected over a network such as the Internet. Realtime redirects here. ...


Overview

Instant messaging offers real-time communication and allows easy collaboration, which might be considered more akin to genuine conversation than email's "letter" format. In contrast to e-mail, the parties know whether the peer is available. Most systems allow the user to set an online status or away message so peers are notified when the user is available, busy, or away from the computer. On the other hand, people are not forced to reply immediately to incoming messages. For this reason, some people consider communication via instant messaging to be less intrusive than communication via phone. However, some systems allow the sending of messages to people not currently logged on (offline messages), thus removing much of the difference between IM and email.


Instant messaging allows instantaneous communication between a number of parties simultaneously, by transmitting information quickly and efficiently, featuring immediate receipt of acknowledgment or reply. In certain cases IM involves additional features, which make it even more popular, i.e. to see the other party, e.g. by using web-cams, or to talk directly for free over the internet.


It is possible to save a conversation for later reference. Instant messages are typically logged in a local message history which closes the gap to the persistent nature of e-mails and facilitates quick exchange of information like URLs or document snippets (which can be unwieldy when communicated via telephone).


History

In early instant messaging programs each character appeared when it was typed. The UNIX "talk" command shown in these screenshots was popular in the 1980s and early 1990s.

This image is a candidate for speedy deletion. It will be deleted after seven days from the date of nomination.

Instant messaging applications began to appear in the 1970s on multi-user operating systems like UNIX, initially to facilitate communication with other users logged in to the same machine, then on the local network, and subsequently across the Internet. Some of these used a peer-to-peer protocol (eg talk, ntalk and ytalk), while others required peers to connect to a server (see talker and IRC). Because all of these protocols were based inside a console window, most of those discovering the Internet in the mid-1990s and equating it with the web tended not to encounter them. Image File history File links File links The following pages link to this file: Talk Instant messenger PowWow (chat program) User:Rnt20 ... Image File history File links File links The following pages link to this file: Talk Instant messenger PowWow (chat program) User:Rnt20 ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The UNIX talk command shown in these screenshots was popular in the 1980s and early 1990s. ... A talker is a MUD variant, a communication system precursor to MMORPGs and other virtual worlds such as Second Life. ... Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a form of instant communication over the Internet. ... Graphic representation of the world wide web around Wikipedia The World Wide Web (WWW, or simply Web) is an information space in which the items of interest, referred to as resources, are identified by global identifiers called Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI). ...


In the last half of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, the Quantum Link online service for Commodore 64 computers offered user-to-user messages between currently connected customers which they called "On-Line Messages" (or OLM for short). Quantum Link's better known later incarnation, America Online, offers a similar product under the name "AOL Instant Messages" (AIM). While the Quantum Link service ran on a Commodore 64, using only the Commodore's PETSCII text-graphics, the screen was visually divided up into sections and OLMs would appear as a yellow bar saying "Message From:" and the name of the sender along with the message across the top of whatever the user was already doing, and presented a list of options for responding.[1] As such, it could be considered a sort of GUI, albeit much more primitive than the later Unix, Windows and Macintosh based GUI IM programs. OLMs were what Q-Link called "Plus Services" meaning they charged an extra per-minute fee on top of the monthly Q-Link access costs. Quantum Link main menu Quantum Link (or Q-Link) was a U.S. online service for Commodore 64 and 128 personal computers that operated from November 5, 1985 to November 1, 1994. ... C-64 redirects here. ... PETSCII (PET Standard Code of Information Interchange), also known as CBM ASCII, is the variation of the ASCII character set used in Commodore (CBM)s 8-bit home computers, starting with the PET from 1977 and including the VIC-20, C64, Plus/4, C16 and C128. ... GUI can refer to the following: GUI is short for graphical user interface, a term used to describe a type of interface in computing. ...


Modern, Internet-wide, GUI-based messaging clients, as they are known today, began to take off in the mid 1990s with ICQ (1996) being the first, followed by AOL Instant Messenger (AOL Instant Messenger, 1997). AOL later acquired Mirabilis, the creators of ICQ. A few years later ICQ (by now owned by AOL) was awarded two patents for instant messaging by the U.S. patent office. Meanwhile, other companies developed their own applications (Yahoo, MSN, Excite, Ubique, IBM), each with its own proprietary protocol and client; users therefore had to run multiple client applications if they wished to use more than one of these networks. GUI can refer to the following: GUI is short for graphical user interface, a term used to describe a type of interface in computing. ... ICQ is an instant messaging computer program, owned by Time Warners AOL subsidiary. ... For other uses, see AOL (disambiguation). ... AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) is a free, advertisement-supported proprietary instant messaging and presence computer program which uses the OSCAR instant messaging protocol and the TOC protocol. ... Yahoo! - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... For other uses, see MSN (disambiguation). ... Excite Excite is an Internet portal with an included search engine. ... 1994 - Ubique Ltd, the creator of Virtual Places, was founded in Israel by Ehud Shapiro and a group of scientists from the Weizmann Institute. ... For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... For other senses of this word, see protocol. ...


In 2000, an open source application and open standards-based protocol called Jabber was launched. Jabber servers could act as gateways to other IM protocols, reducing the need to run multiple clients. Modern multi-protocol clients such as Pidgin, Trillian, Adium and Miranda can use any of the popular IM protocols without the need for a server gateway. Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... Open standards are publicly available specifications for achieving a specific task. ... Official logo of the Jabber Software Foundation Jabber is a collection of open, real-time communication technologies built on the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). ... Gaim (to be renamed Pidgin in the next release) is a popular multi-platform instant messaging client that supports many commonly used instant messaging protocols. ... Trillian is a multiprotocol instant messaging application for Windows created by Cerulean Studios that can connect to multiple IM programs from one client, such as AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Bonjour, Jabber, and Skype networks (the latter four with Trillian Pro which allows for additonal... Adium is a popular instant messaging client for Mac OS X that supports multiple protocols through the libpurple library. ... Miranda Instant Messenger is a minimalist, open source multiprotocol instant messaging application, designed for Microsoft Windows. ...


Recently, many instant messaging services have begun to offer video conferencing features, Voice Over IP (VoIP) and web conferencing services. Web conferencing services integrate both video conferencing and instant messaging capabilities. Some newer instant messaging companies are offering desktop sharing, IP radio, and IPTV to the voice and video features. Categories: Wikipedia cleanup | Groupware | Telecommunications stubs ... IP Telephony, also called Internet telephony, is the technology that makes it possible to have a telephone conversation over the Internet or a dedicated Internet Protocol (IP) network instead of dedicated voice transmission lines. ... Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings or presentations over the Internet. ...


The term "instant messenger" is a service mark of Time Warner[2] and may not be used in software not affiliated with AOL in the United States. For this reason, the instant messaging client formerly known as Gaim or gaim announced in April 2007 that they would be renamed "Pidgin"[3]. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Trademark. ...


Cooperation

There have been several attempts to create a unified standard for instant messaging: IETF's SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and SIMPLE (SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions), APEX (Application Exchange), Prim (Presence and Instant Messaging Protocol), the open XML-based XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol), more commonly known as Jabber and OMA's (Open Mobile Alliance) IMPS (Instant Messaging and Presence Service) created specifically for mobile devices. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is charged with developing and promoting Internet standards. ... The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an application-layer control (signaling) protocol for creating, modifying, and terminating sessions with one or more participants. ... In computing, SIMPLE (Session Initiation Protocol for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions) is an instant messaging (IM) and presence protocol suite based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). ... Application Exchange (APEX) was an early proposal to the IETF of a standard protocol for instant messaging. ... Jabber redirects here. ... Official logo of the Jabber Software Foundation Jabber is a collection of open, real-time communication technologies built on the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). ... The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) is a standards body which develops open standards for the mobile industry. ... For Star Wars fan film, see IMPS The Relentless. ...


Most attempts at creating a unified standard for the major IM providers (AOL, Yahoo! and Microsoft) have failed and each continues to use its own proprietary protocol. For other uses, see AOL (disambiguation). ... “Yahoo” redirects here. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ...


However, while discussions at IETF were stalled, Reuters head of collaboration services, David Gurle (the founder of Microsoft's Real Time Communication and Collaboration business), surprised everybody by signing the first inter-service provider connectivity agreement on September 2003. This historic agreement enabled AIM, ICQ and MSN Messenger users to talk with Reuters Messaging counterparts and vice-versa against an access fee. Following this breakthrough agreement between networks Microsoft, Yahoo! and AOL came to a deal where Microsoft's Live Communication Server 2005 (which is interestingly also used by Reuters for its Reuters Messaging service) users would also have the possibility to talk to public instant messaging users. This deal settled once for all the protocol for interconnectivity in the market as SIP/SIMPLE and established a connectivity fee for accessing public instant messaging clouds. Separately, on October 13, 2005 Microsoft and Yahoo! announced that by (the Northern Hemisphere) summer of 2006 they would interoperate using SIP/SIMPLE which is followed on December 2005 by the AOL and Google strategic partnership deal where Google Talk users would be able to talk with AIM and ICQ users provided they have an identity at AOL. is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... “Yahoo” redirects here. ...


There are two ways to combine the many disparate protocols:

  1. One way is to combine the many disparate protocols inside the IM client application.
  2. The other way is to combine the many disparate protocols inside the IM server application. This approach moves the task of communicating to the other services to the server. Clients need not know or care about other IM protocols. For example, LCS 2005 Public IM Connectivity. This approach is popular in Jabber/XMPP servers however the so-called transport projects suffer the same reverse engineering difficulties as any other project involved with closed protocols or formats.

Some approaches, such as that adopted by the Sonork enterprise IM software or the Jabber/XMPP network or Winpopup LAN Messenger, allow organizations to create their own private instant messaging network by enabling them to limit access to the server (often with the IM network entirely behind their firewall) and administer user permissions. Other corporate messaging systems allow registered users to also connect from outside the corporation LAN, by using a secure firewall-friendly HTTPS based protocol. Typically, a dedicated corporate IM server has several advantages such as pre-populated contact lists, integrated authentication, and better security and privacy. The following is a list of Jabber / XMPP server implementations. ... Reverse engineering (RE) is the process of taking something (a device, an electrical component, a software program, etc. ... Official logo of the Jabber Software Foundation Jabber is a collection of open, real-time communication technologies built on the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). ... Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, or XMPP, is an open, XML-based protocol for near real-time extensible messaging and presence events. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...


Some networks have made changes to prevent them from being utilized by such multi-network IM clients. For example, Trillian had to release several revisions and patches to allow its users to access the MSN, AOL, and Yahoo! networks, after changes were made to these networks. The major IM providers typically cite the need for formal agreements as well as security concerns as reasons for making these changes. Trillian is a multiprotocol instant messaging application for Windows created by Cerulean Studios that can connect to multiple IM programs from one client, such as AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Bonjour, Jabber, and Skype networks (the latter four with Trillian Pro which allows for additonal... In computing, a patch is a small piece of software designed to update or fix problems with a computer program or its supporting data. ... This article describes how security can be achieved through design and engineering. ...


Patrick Ordiales..gaaandaaaaa!


Mobile Instant Messaging

Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) is a presence enabled messaging service that aims to transpose the desktop messaging experience to the usage scenario of being on the move. While several of the core ideas of the desktop experience on one hand apply to a connected mobile device, others do not: Users usually only look at their phone's screen — presence status changes might occur under different circumstances as happens at the desktop, and several functional limits exist based on the fact that the vast majority of mobile communication devices are chosen by their users to fit into the palm of their hand.


Some of the form factor and mobility related differences need to be taken into account in order to create a really adequate, powerful and yet convenient mobile experience: radio bandwidth, memory size, availability of media formats, keypad based input, screen output, CPU performance and battery power are core issues that desktop device users and even nomadic users with connected notebooks are usually not exposed to.


Several formerly untackled issues have been identified and addressed within IMPS, which was developed as part of an early mobile telephone industry initiative to kick off a broader usage of mobile instant messaging. The Open Mobile Alliance has taken over this standard, formerly called Wireless Village, as IMPS V1.0 in November 2002. Since then this standards has been further developed to IMPS V1.3, the latest candidate for release, and is expected to be released before the end of 2006. The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) is a standards body which develops open standards for the mobile industry. ... Wireless Village is a set of specifications for mobile instant messaging and presence services. ...


There are downloadable mobile applications offered by different independent developers that allow users to chat within public (MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ) and corporate (LCS, Sametime, Reuters) IM services from mobile devices. For other uses, see MSN (disambiguation). ... “Yahoo” redirects here. ... Google Talk is a Windows application for Voice over IP and instant messaging, offered by Google. ... AIM is a three-letter abbreviation with multiple meanings, as described below: AOL Instant Messenger A I M Management Group Inc. ... ICQ is an instant messaging computer program, owned by Time Warners AOL subsidiary. ... Microsoft Office Live Communications Server is described by Microsoft as an enterprise real-time communications server, providing instant messaging and collaboration functionality. ... Lotus Sametime is a commercial client-server instant messaging application distributed by the Lotus Software division of IBM. Lotus Sametime provides basic instant messaging functionality, presence information, and support for web conferencing. ... Reuters Group plc (LSE: RTR and NASDAQ: RTRSY); pronounced is known as a financial market data provider and a news service that provides reports from around the world to newspapers and broadcasters. ...


Among the advantages of using such IM clients over SMS are: IM clients use data instead of SMS text messages; IM-like chat mode, faster and quicker messaging. Some IM software allows group communication.


Several large scale mobile telephone industry companies are planning to jointly deliver a ubiquitous, interoperable presence enabled messaging service, built according to interoperability recommendations developed in the GSM Association.[4] Considering these organisations are jointly representing approximately 1.5 billion active Short Text Messaging (SMS) users, it remains to be seen [vague] if such an initiative may also help to drive the different industry factions to agree on a truly interoperable approach at least for Mobile Instant Messaging sometime in the not too far future.


In the meantime, other developments have proposed usage of downloadable applications with the intention to create their own approach to IM that runs on most mobile phones worldwide. Essentially, several of these clients are Java applications are instantly downloaded and then connected to back-end servers through GPRS/3G Internet Channels. Some of the implementations can connect to other IM services. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a mobile data service available to users of GSM mobile phones. ... 3G is the third generation of mobile phone standards and technology, after 2G. It is based on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) family of standards under the International Mobile Telecommunications programme, IMT-2000. 3G technologies enable network operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced services while achieving...


Friend-to-friend networks

Instant Messaging may be done in a Friend-to-friend network, in which each node connects to the friends on the friendslist. This allows for communication with friends of friends and for the building of chatrooms for instant messages with all friends on that network.Love is friendster. thank you for using wikipedia. please use it again! teecee!! ingatz!! muah! It has been suggested that Friend-to-friend with third party storage be merged into this article or section. ...


Business application

Instant messaging has proven to be similar to personal computers, e-mail, and the WWW, in that its adoption for use as a business communications medium was driven primarily by individual employees using consumer software at work, rather than by formal mandate or provisioning by corporate information technology departments. Tens of millions of the consumer IM accounts in use are being used for business purposes by employees of companies and other organizations.


In response to the demand for business-grade IM and the need to ensure security and legal compliance, a new type of instant messaging, called "Enterprise Instant Messaging" ("EIM") was created when Lotus Software launched Lotus Sametime in 1999. Microsoft followed suit shortly thereafter with Microsoft Exchange Instant Messaging, and later created a new platform called Microsoft Office Live Communications Server. Since then, both IBM Lotus and Microsoft have introduced federation between their EIM systems and some of the public IM networks thus employees may use a single interface to both their internal EIM system and their buddies on AOL, MSN, and Yahoo!. Current leading EIM platforms include IBM Lotus Sametime, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server, and Jabber XCP. Lotus Software (called Lotus Development Corporation before its acquisition by IBM) is an American software company with its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Lotus Sametime is an enterprise instant messaging and web conferencing application sold by the Lotus Software division of IBM. Lotus Sametime provides enterprise instant messaging functionality, presence information, and web conferencing. ... Microsoft Exchange can mean: Microsoft Exchange Server Microsoft Exchange Client: the native and bundled client of Exchange server up to version 5. ... Microsoft Office Live Communications Server is described by Microsoft as an enterprise real-time communications server, providing instant messaging and collaboration functionality. ... Lotus Sametime is an enterprise instant messaging and web conferencing application sold by the Lotus Software division of IBM. Lotus Sametime provides enterprise instant messaging functionality, presence information, and web conferencing. ... Microsoft Office Live Communications Server is described by Microsoft as an enterprise real-time communications server, providing instant messaging and collaboration functionality. ...


The adoption of IM across corporate networks outside of the control of IT organizations creates many risks and liabilities for companies who do not effectively manage and support IM use. Companies implement specialized IM archiving and security products and services like those from Secure Computing, Akonix, Surfcontrol, and ScanSafe to mitigate these risks and provide safe, secure, productive instant messaging capabilities to their employees.


On the other hand, the informal usage of instant messaging by the younger generation has also affected the quality of messages as these youngsters adapt the habits that they are used to in instant messaging into the workplace. The tendency to misspell, the use of informal language, emoticons and the shortening of longer or commonly used words whilst casual chatting online with friends might unconsciously seep into the more formal and serious conversations in the workplace. Although instant messaging has made it more convenient for faster relaying of messages, certain guidelines and etiquette rules should be observed to fully utilise the usability of this important tool.


Risks and liabilities

Although instant messaging delivers many benefits, it also carries with it certain risks and liabilities, particularly when used in workplaces. Among these risks and liabilities are:

  • Security risks (e.g. IM used to infect computers with spyware, viruses, trojans, worms)
  • Compliance risks
  • Inappropriate use
  • Intellectual property leakage

Hackers' use of instant messaging networks to deliver malicious code has grown consistently from 2004 to the present, with the number of discrete attacks listed by the IM Security Center[5] having grown 15% from 347 attacks in 2005 to 406 in 2006. Hackers use two methods of delivering malicious code through IM: delivery of virus, trojan, or spyware within an infected file, and the use of "socially engineered" text with a web address that entices the recipient to click on a URL that connects him or her to a website that then downloads malicious code. Viruses, worms, and trojans typically propagate by sending themselves rapidly through the infected user's buddy list. An effective attack using a "poison URL" may reach tens of thousands of people in minutes when each person's buddy list receives messages appearing to be from a trusted friend. The recipients click on the web address, and the entire cycle starts again. Infections may range from nuisance to criminal, and are becoming more sophisticated each year.


In addition to the malicious code threat, the use of instant messaging at work also creates a risk of non-compliance to laws and regulations governing the use of electronic communications in businesses. In the United States alone there are over 10,000 laws and regulations related to electronic messaging and records retention.[6] The more well-known of these include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, HIPAA, and SEC 17a-3. Recent changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, effective December 1, 2006, create a new category for electronic records which may be requested during discovery (law) in legal proceedings. Most countries around the world also regulate the use of electronic messaging and electronic records retention in similar fashion to the United States. The most common regulations related to IM at work involve the need to produce archived business communications to satisfy government or judicial requests under law. Many instant messaging communications fall into the category of business communications that must be archived and retrievable. Before the signing ceremony of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, President George Bush meets with Senator Paul Sarbanes, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and other dignitaries in the Blue Room at the White House on July 30, 2002. ... The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996. ... The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) govern civil procedure in the United States district courts, or more simply, court procedures for civil suits. ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... In law, discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which each party through the law of civil procedure can request documents and other evidence from other parties or can compel the production of evidence by using a subpoena or through other discovery devices, such as requests for...


Organizations of all types must protect themselves from the liability of their employees' inappropriate use of IM. The informal, immediate, and ostensibly anonymous nature of instant messaging makes it a candidate for abuse in the workplace. The topic of inappropriate IM use became front page news in October 2006 when Congressman Mark Foley resigned his seat after admitting sending offensive instant messages of a sexual nature to underage former House pages from his Congressional office PC. The Mark Foley Scandal led to media coverage and mainstream newspaper articles warning of the risks of inappropriate IM use in workplaces. In most countries, corporations have a legal responsibility to ensure harassment-free work environment for employees. The use of corporate-owned computers, networks, and software to harass an individual or spread inappropriate jokes or language creates a liability for not only the offender but also the employer. A survey by IM archiving and security provider Akonix Systems, Inc. in March 2007 showed that 31% of respondents had been harassed over IM at work.[7] Companies now include instant messaging as an integral component of their policies on appropriate use of the World Wide Web, email, and other corporate assets. Mark Adam Foley (born September 8, 1954) is an American politician who served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 until 2006, representing the 16th District of Florida. ... Mark Foley The Mark Foley scandal, which broke in late September 2006, centers on sexually explicit and solicitative e-mails and instant messages sent by Mark Foley, a Republican Congressman from Florida, to congressional pages and former pages. ...


Security and archiving

In the early 2000s, a new class of IT security provider emerged to provide remedies for the risks and liabilities faced by corporations who chose to use IM for business communications. The IM security providers created new products to be installed in corporate networks for the purpose of archiving, content-scanning, and security-scanning IM traffic moving in and out of the corporation. Similar to the e-mail filtering vendors, the IM security providers focus on the risks and liabilities described above. An instant messaging manager is a software product created specifically to secure, archive, and/or filter the content of instant messages on the popular instant messaging networks. ... Email filtering is the processing of e-mail to organize it according to specified criterion. ...


With rapid adoption of IM in the workplace, demand for IM security products began to grow in the mid-2000s. By 2007, the preferred platform for the purchase of security software had become the "appliance", according to IDC, who estimate that by 2008, 80% of network security products will be delivered via an appliance.[8] The word appliance has several different areas of meaning, all usually referring to a device with a narrow function: One class of objects includes items that are custom-fitted to an individual for the purpose of correction of a physical or dental problem, such as prosthetic, orthotic appliances and dental...


User base

Note that many of the numbers listed in this section are not directly comparable, and some are speculative. Some instant messaging systems are distributed among many different instances and thus difficult to measure in total (e.g. Jabber). While some numbers are given by the owners of a complete instant messaging system, others are provided by commercial vendors of a part of a distributed system. Some companies may be motivated to inflate their numbers in order to increase advertisement earnings or to attract partners, clients, or customers. Importantly, some numbers are reported as the number of "active" users (without a shared standard of that activity), others indicate total user accounts, while others indicate only the users logged in during an instance of peak usage.

Service User count Date/source
AIM 53 million active September 2006
>100 million total January 2006
WLM 27.2 million active September 2006
155 million total April 2005
QQ 20 million peak online (majority in China) 3 June 2006
221 million "active" (majority in China) 3 June 2006
Skype 10 million peak online October 2007
>220 million total October 2007
ICQ 4 million active 2002
5 million total in Europe alone 2004
Paltalk 3.3 million unique visitors per month August 2006
PSYC 1 million active (daily) (majority in Brazil) February 2007. Total count cannot be accurately estimated due to the decentralized nature of the protocol.
Jabber 40-50 million total January 2007, based on calculations of Jabber Inc
90 million total Based on calculations of Process-One: Process-One uses ejabberd as Jabber server software. If it is assumed that ejabberd has a 40% market share amongst public and private open source server deployments, there are 50 million users using open source servers. With Jabber Inc's numbers, this adds up to the 90 million number stated here.
eBuddy 35 million total October 2006, including 4 million mobile users
Yahoo! Messenger 22 million total September 2006
Lotus Sametime 15 million total (private, in enterprises) -
Xfire 6.1 million total January 2007
Gadu-Gadu 5.6 million total June 2006
MXit 3 million total (>200,000 outside of South Africa) 31 January 2007. Note that these users are part of the Jabber user base as MXit federates with the Jabber network.
Meebo 1 million total October 2006
IMVU 1 million total June 2007
MySpaceIM unknown [1]

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) is a free, advertisement-supported proprietary instant messaging and presence computer program which uses the OSCAR instant messaging protocol and the TOC protocol. ... For the old versions of this software called MSN Messenger, see MSN Messenger. ... QQ is sometimes used on the Internet as an abbreviation for crying; it is supposedly visually similar to two big eyes with tears at the bottom. ... QQ is sometimes used on the Internet as an abbreviation for crying; it is supposedly visually similar to two big eyes with tears at the bottom. ... Skype (IPA pronunciation: , rhymes with type) is a software program created by the entrepreneurs Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. ... ICQ is an instant messaging computer program, owned by Time Warners AOL subsidiary. ... Paltalk is an internet chat service for text, voice and video chatting. ... PSYC (Protocol for SYnchronous Conferencing) is a flexible text-based protocol for delivery of data to a flexible amount of recipients or people, by unicast or multicast. ... Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, or XMPP, is an open, XML-based protocol for near real-time extensible messaging and presence events. ... ejabberd is a free (GPL) distributed fault-tolerant Jabber/XMPP server and is mainly written in Erlang. ... eBuddy is a web & mobile messenger which supports various instant messaging clients including MSN Messenger, Yahoo! and AIM. Users who are unable or unwilling to download software can access their IM account through eBuddy. ... “Y!M” redirects here. ... IBM Lotus Sametime is the commercial Instant Messaging service by the Lotus Software brand of IBM. It provides instant messaging(IM) and presence awareness capabilities as well as support for web conferencing. ... For the web service tool, see Codehaus XFire . ... Gadu-Gadu is an instant messaging program that is popular in Poland. ... MXit (pronounced mix it) is a mobile instant messaging application developed in South Africa that runs on GPRS/3G mobile phones with java support. ... Meebo is an in-browser instant messaging program which supports multiple IM services, including Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ [1], and Jabber and is based on the free and open source library libpurple created by the software developers of Pidgin[2]. // Although still in its early... IMVU is a graphical instant messaging client with more than 1 million users. ... MySpaceIM is an instant messaging program released by MySpace. ...

See also

A LAN messenger is an instant messaging program designed for use within a single local area network (LAN). ... The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of instant messaging clients. ... The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of instant messaging protocols. ... An instant messaging manager is a software product created specifically to secure, archive, and/or filter the content of instant messages on the popular instant messaging networks. ...

Notes and references

  1. ^ Screenshot of a Quantum Link OLM
  2. ^ Summary of final decisions issued by the trademark trial and appeal board, January 16-20, 2006
  3. ^ "Important and Long Delayed News", Announcement of Gaim renaming (to Pidgin), April 06, 2007
  4. ^ Leading Mobile Operators to Deliver Ubiquitous Instant Messaging Industry Press Release at 3GSM World Congress, 12 February 2006
  5. ^ IM Security Center. Retrieved on 2007-05-13.
  6. ^ ESG compliance report excerpt, Part 1: Introduction. Retrieved on 2007-05-13.
  7. ^ Akonix Warns Corporations of Risqué Employee IM Behavior. Retrieved on 2007-05-13.
  8. ^ Chris Christiansen and Rose Ryan, International Data Corp., "IDC Telebriefing: Threat Management Security Appliance Review and Forecast"

April 6 is the 96th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (97th in leap years). ... is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • "All About Instant Messengers"
  • Web Messengers Handbook

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Instant messaging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1379 words)
Instant messaging is the act of instantly communicating between two or more people over a network such as the Internet.
Instant messaging requires the use of a client program that hooks up an instant messaging service and differs from e-mail in that conversations are then able to happen in realtime.
What really characterizes instant messaging from other forms of text messaging applications is the use of "presence" which enables the user of an instant messaging applications to rendez-vous with his/her counterparties and see their status of availability.
AOL, Yahoo And MSN To Integrate Messaging (IM, Instant Messaging) - 10e20 Website Design Latest News (867 words)
Instant messaging through computers, phones and other handheld devices is similar to the telephone, in that people communicate with each other directly and immediately.
Most instant messages involve short text notes traded back and forth on computer screens, although some systems allow users to talk and see one another through the use of cameras, microphones and speakers or headphones.
The ability to store and retrieve instant messages is critical for businesses placing orders with suppliers, brokerage firms confirming stock purchases to investors and in numerous other commercial transactions and communications.
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