Instant messaging (IM) is a type of online chat which offers real-time text transmission over the Internet.A LAN messenger operates in a similar way over a local area network. Short messages are typically transmitted bi-directionally between two parties, when each user chooses to complete a thought and select "send". Some IM clients can use push technology to provide real-time text, which transmits messages character by character, as they are composed. More advanced instant messaging can add file transfer, clickable hyperlinks, Voice over IP, or video chat.
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). 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"). Depending on the IM protocol, the technical architecture can be peer-to-peer (direct point-to-point transmission) or client-server (a central server retransmits messages from the sender to the receiver).
- Instant messages - Send notes back and forth with a friend who is
- Online Chat - Create a chat room with friends or co-workers Web links
- Share links to your favorite Web sites
- Video - Send and view videos, and chat face to face with friends
- Images - Look at an image stored on your friend's computer
- Sounds - Play sounds for your friends
- Files - Share files by sending them directly to your friends
- Talk - Use the Internet instead of a phone to actually talk with friends
- Streaming content - Real-time or near-real-time stock quotes and news
- Mobile capabilities - Send instant messages from your cell phone