Language and Media

Some facts about IM

  • The commencements of IM were in the 1960’s already

  • There has to be made a distinction between IM software for private use and IM software specially designed for enterprise use, which is a lot more secure (e.g. IBM Lotus Sametime)

  • Multiprotocol applications like Trillian and Pidgin allow to contact buddies from a variety of Instant Messengers without having to sign up for each

Advantages and disadvantages


  • Real time communication
  • Easy to use
  • Buddy list allows to view online availability
  • Less intrusive than phone calls
  • Availability wherever one can connect to the Internet


  • Viruses can be transmitted via file exchange
  • Great potential to be distracting
  • Personal data can be viewed by all users

Additional messenger features

Voice over Internet Protocol allows to make PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone voice calls and webconferencing, when using a webcam

File exchange enables the user to exchange pictures, music and all sorts of files

Mobile Instant Messaging makes it possible to receive and send messages from a mobile phone

Games are featured by some messengers. ICQ for example, allows its users to invite their buddies to a match of ‘Connect 4’,among others

History inventories store IM communication for later reference