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Instant Messaging

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ALSO CALLED: IM (Instant Messaging), Instant Messaging (Communications)
DEFINITION: Instant messaging, often shortened to simply "IM" or "IMing," is the exchange of text messages through a a software application in real-time. Generally included in the IM software is the ability to easily see whether a chosen friend, co-worker or "buddy" is online and connected through the selected service. Instant messaging differs from ordinary e-mail in the immediacy of the message exchange and  … 
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INSTANT MESSAGING DEFINITION (continued): …  also makes a continued exchange simpler than sending e-mail back and forth. Most exchanges are text-only, though popular services, such as AOL, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger and Apple's iChat now allow voice messaging, file sharing and even video chat when both users have cameras. For IMing to work, both users must be online at the same time and the intended recipient must be willing to accept instant messages, as it is possible to configure the IM client to reject chat sessions. An attempt to send an IM to someone who is not online, or who is not willing to accept IMs, will result in notification … 
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