Clients Instant messengers by protocol See also: Comparison of instant messaging clients and Comparison of user features of messaging platforms Each modern IM service
generally provides its own client, either a separately installed piece of software, or a browser-based client.
 Business application Instant messaging has proven to be similar to personal computers, email, and the World Wide Web, 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.
Overview Instant messaging is a set of communication technologies used for text-based communication between two (private messaging) or more (chat room) participants over the
Internet or other types of networks (see also LAN messenger).
Instant messaging systems tend to facilitate connections between specified known users (often using a contact list also known as a “buddy list” or “friend list”), and can
be standalone applications or integrated into e.g.
In the latter half of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, the Quantum Link online service for Commodore 64 computers offered user-to-user messages between concurrently connected
customers, which they called “On-Line Messages” (or OLM for short), and later “FlashMail.”
History Though the term dates from the 1990s, instant messaging predates the Internet, first appearing on multi-user operating systems like Compatible Time-Sharing System
(CTSS) and Multiplexed Information and Computing Service (Multics) in the mid-1960s.
Calling Many major IM services and applications offer the call feature for user-to-user calls, conference calls, and voice messages.
Instant messaging (IM) technology is a type of online chat allowing real-time text transmission over the Internet or another computer network.
and AOL agreed to a deal in which Microsoft’s Live Communications Server 2005 users would also have the possibility to talk to public instant messaging users.
Major platforms such as Facebook messenger and WeChat already offer a payment feature, and this functionality is likely to become a standard amongst IM apps competing in the
), 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.
 Interoperability Standard complementary instant messaging applications offer functions like file transfer, contact list(s), the ability to hold several simultaneous conversations,
 Parallel to instant messaging were early online chat facilities, the earliest of which was Talkomatic (1973) on the PLATO system, which allowed 5 people to chat simultaneously
on a 512×512 plasma display (5 lines of text + 1 status line per person).
Modern, Internet-wide, GUI-based messaging clients as they are known today, began to take off in the mid-1990s with PowWow, ICQ, and AOL Instant Messenger.
Public and group chat features allow users to communicate with multiple people at a time.
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 IBM Lotus Sametime in 1998.
 The popularity of instant messaging was soon revived with new services in the form of mobile applications, notable examples of the time being BlackBerry Messenger (first
released in 2005; today available as BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise) and WhatsApp (first released in 2009).
Certain networks have made changes to prevent them from being used by such multi-network IM clients.
Third party client software applications exist that will connect with most of the major IM services.
Most modern IM applications (sometimes called “social messengers”, “messaging apps” or “chat apps”) use push technology and also add other features such as emojis (or graphical
smileys), file transfer, chatbots, voice over IP, or video chat capabilities.
The use of proprietary protocols has meant that many instant messaging networks have been incompatible and users have been unable to reach users on other networks.
Non-IM types of chat include multicast transmission, usually referred to as “chat rooms”, where participants might be anonymous or might be previously known to each other
(for example collaborators on a project that is using chat to facilitate communication).
With the introduction of messaging apps, the group chat functionality allows all the members to see an entire thread of everyone’s responses.
 Sometimes the use of different operating systems in organizations requires use of software that supports more than one platform.
announced that by the 3rd quarter of 2006 they would interoperate using SIP/SIMPLE, which was followed, in December 2005, by the AOL and Google strategic partnership deal
in which Google Talk users would be able to communicate with AIM and ICQ users provided they have an AIM account.
Similar functionality was offered by CU-SeeMe in 1992; though primarily an audio/video chat link, users could also send textual messages to each other.
 BlackBerry Messenger Facebook Chat, example of IM through a wider social network that became popular in the late 2000s By 2010, instant messaging over the Web was in
sharp decline in favor of messaging features on social networks.
Comparison to SMS SMS is the acronym for “short message service” and allows mobile phone users to send text messages without an Internet connection, while instant messaging
provides similar services through an Internet connection.
The lack of a service fee also makes messaging apps advantageous to financial applications.
Other corporate messaging systems allow registered users to also connect from outside the corporation LAN, by using an encrypted, firewall-friendly, HTTPS-based protocol.
 This may have allowed social networking with IM-like features and text messaging an opportunity to gain market share at the expense of IM.
Usually, a dedicated corporate IM server has several advantages, such as pre-populated contact lists, integrated authentication, and better security and privacy.
Initially, some of these systems were used as notification systems for services like printing, but quickly were used to facilitate communication with other users logged into
the same machine.
[third-party source needed] Industry-focused EIM platforms such as Reuters Messaging and Bloomberg Messaging also provide IM abilities to financial services companies.
Payments Though a relatively new feature, peer-to-peer payments are available on major messaging platforms.
While SMS relied on traditional paid telephone services, instant messaging apps on mobiles were available for free or a minor data charge.
While the Quantum Link client software ran on a Commodore 64, using only the Commodore’s PETSCII text-graphics, the screen was visually divided 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.
 Easier group messaging was another advantage of smartphone messaging apps and also contributed to their adoption.
This functionality allows individuals to use one application for both communication and financial tasks.
The Zephyr Notification Service (still in use at some institutions) was invented at MIT’s Project Athena in the 1980s to allow service providers to locate and send messages
Some approaches allow organizations to deploy their own, private instant messaging network by enabling them to restrict access to the server (often with the IM network entirely
behind their firewall) and administer user permissions.
Certain apps have emphasis on certain uses – for example Skype focuses on video calling, Slack focuses on messaging and file sharing for work teams, and Snapchat focuses on
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.
 Messaging applications on the market that use end-to-end encryption include Signal, WhatsApp, Wire and iMessage.
Clarification from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) was issued to member firms in the financial services industry in December, 2007, noting that “electronic
communications”, “email”, and “electronic correspondence” may be used interchangeably and can include such forms of electronic messaging as instant messaging and text messaging.
By 2007, the preferred platform for the purchase of security software had become the “computer appliance”, according to IDC, who estimated that by 2008, 80% of network security
products would be delivered via an appliance.
The term “Instant Messenger” is a service mark of Time Warner and may not be used in software not affiliated with AOL in the United States.
 Social networking providers often offer IM abilities, for example Facebook Chat, while Twitter can be thought of as a Web 2.0 instant messaging system.
 Both IBM Lotus and Microsoft have introduced federation between their EIM systems and some of the public IM networks so that employees may use one interface to both their
internal EIM system and their contacts on AOL, MSN, and Yahoo.
IM is increasingly becoming a feature of enterprise software rather than a stand-alone application.
The privacy aspect can also be enhanced as applications have a timer feature, like Snapchat, where messages or conversations are automatically deleted once the time limit
Some systems permit messages to be sent to users not then ‘logged on’ (offline messages), thus removing some differences between IM and email (often done by sending the message
to the associated email account).
These usually only work within the same IM network, although some allow limited function with other services.
This requires users to trust this server because messages can generally be accessed by the company.
Enterprise messaging applications like Slack, TeleMessage, Teamnote and Yammer allow companies to enforce policies on how employees message at work and ensure secure storage
of sensitive data.
Before the introduction of messaging apps, smartphone users could only participate in single-person interactions via mobile voice calls or SMS.
Many instant messaging communications fall into the category of business communications that must be archived and retrievable.
Modern implementations of real-time text also exist in instant messengers, such as AOL’s Real-Time IM as an optional feature.
 Message applications allow employees to separate work information from their personal emails and texts.
During the bulletin board system (BBS) phenomenon that peaked during the 1980s, some systems incorporated chat features which were similar to instant messaging; Freelancin’
Roundtable was one prime example.
This deal established SIP/SIMPLE as a standard for protocol interoperability and established a connectivity fee for accessing public instant messaging groups or services.
 A number of studies have shown that IM services are quite vulnerable for providing user privacy.
Also, IM client software often requires the user to expose open UDP ports to the world, raising the threat posed by potential security vulnerabilities.
 Compliance risks 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
use of electronic communications in businesses.
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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bill_harrison/3962240986/’]