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What is instant messaging?

Question: What is instant messaging?

Answer: An Instant Messenger is a computer program which allows instant text communication between two or more people the Internet. It differs from e-mail in that conversations happen in real-time. Also, most services convey an “online status” between users, such as if a contact is actively using the computer.

Generally, both parties in the conversation see each line of text right after it is typed (line-by-line), making it more like a telephone conversation than exchanging letters. Instant messaging programs may also include the ability to post an away message, the equivalent of the message on a telephone answering machine.

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