Instant Messaging

What is instant messaging?

Instant Messaging is a form of real-time text-based online communication that requires an Internet connection to function. 

What is the purpose of instant messaging?

The purpose of Instant Messaging is to communicate textual information between two or more individuals in real-time, allowing a conversation-like exchange of information that requires immediate response.  This form of communication differs from other forms of online communication (ie. email) because of its real-time response characteristics. 

How to use instant messaging

Users must download an Instant Messaging application, like MSN, in order to participate in this form of communication. Users are able to communicate with other users only if both parties are using the same Instant Messaging application and have added each other as "contacts" in this application. Communication can take place using a computer, a smartphone, tablet, or other device equipped to handle an Instant Messaging application.

Related Information

Additional Resources